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  • Author: Bengt-Åke Armelius x
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Integrating addiction and mental health treatment within a national addiction treatment system: using multiple statistical methods to analyze client and interviewer assessment of co-occurring mental health problems


AIMS - For a Swedish national sample of 12,833 individuals assessed for a substance use disorder (SUD) (2002-2008) in the Swedish welfare system, client self-report and clinical staff Addiction Severity Index (ASI) assessment data were used to assess mental health problem severity and needs. METHODS - Analysis of client self-report data using regression methods identified demographic characteristics associated with reporting significant mental health problems. Clinical staff assessment data from the ASI Interviewer Severity Rating (ISR) score were used to develop a Kmeans cluster analysis with three client cluster profiles: Narcotics (n=4795); Alcohol (n=4380); and Alcohol and Psychiatric Problems (n=3658). Chi-square and one-way ANOVA analyses identified self-reported mental health problems for these clusters. RESULTS - 44% of clients had a history of using outpatient mental health treatment, 45% reported current mental health symptoms, and 19% reported significant mental health problems. Women were 1.6 times more likely to report significant mental health problems than men. Staff assessed that 74.8% of clients had current mental health problems and that 13.9% had significant mental health problems. Client and staff results were congruent in identifying that clients in the Alcohol profile were less likely (5%) to report having significant mental health problems compared to the other two profiles (30% each). CONCLUSIONS - About 19% of clients with SUDs reported significant mental health problems, need integrated addiction and mental health treatment, and these clients are clustered in two population groups. An additional 25% of the addiction treatment population report current mental health symptoms and have at some point used mental health treatment. This national level assessment of the extent and severity of co-occurring disorders can inform decisions made regarding policy shifts towards an integrated system and the needs of clients with co-occurring disorders

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