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An unholy alliance: substance abuse and social exclusion among assertive outreach patients

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Fakhoury WKH, Priebe S., and PLAO Study Group. An unholy alliance: substance abuse and social exclusion among assertive outreach patients. Objective: 

To investigate the relationship between social exclusion and outcomes of mentally ill patients with substance abuse problems receiving assertive outreach treatment in London. Method: 

Analysis was conducted on data on 580 patients from the ‘Pan-London Assertive Outreach Study (PLAO)’. Data were collected using clinician-rated scales of alcohol and drug abuse in the last 6 months before baseline. Outcomes – hospitalization and compulsory hospitalization– were assessed over a 9-month follow-up period. Results: 

The analysis identified a group of patients with substance abuse who suffer from social exclusion and forensic problems (n = 77, 15.8%), and had poorer outcomes than the rest of the patients in terms of hospitalization (52% vs. 36% respectively) and compulsory (39% vs. 22% respectively) hospitalization. Conclusion: 

There is a distinct group of patients whose treatment requires social inclusion and forensic expertise. Future research into which model of service is suitable for these patients and in what setting is recommended.

Keywords: hospitalization; mental disorders; outcomes assessment; social isolation; substance abuse

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2006-08-01

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