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Evaluation of a motivational interview for substance use within psychiatric in-patient services

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To assess the effectiveness of a motivational interview among hospitalized psychiatric patients with comorbid substance use disorder in reducing alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. Design

Subjects were assigned randomly to receive an individual motivational interview (n=79) or a self-help booklet (control condition; n=81). Setting

Subjects were volunteers recruited from a major public psychiatric hospital. Participants

Subjects met abuse or dependence criteria on the structured clinical interview for diagnosis (SCID) for alcohol, cannabis or amphetamine or they reported hazardous use during the last month of one or more of these drug types on the opiate treatment index (OTI). Intervention

Either one 30–45-minute motivational interview or brief advice. Measurements

The SCID and OTI were the main measures. Findings

There was a modest short-term effect of the motivational interview on an aggregate index of alcohol and other drug use (polydrug use on the OTI). Cannabis use remained high among the sample over the 12-month follow-up period. Conclusion

Although motivational interviewing appears feasible among in-patients in psychiatric hospital with comorbid substance use disorders, more extensive interventions are recommended, continuing on an out-patient basis, particularly for cannabis use.

Keywords: Brief intervention; comorbidity; dual diagnoses; motivational interview; treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Centre for Mental Health Studies, University of Newcastle 2: Hunter Mental Health, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2002


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