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Symptom severity, amount of treatment, and 1-year outcomes among dual diagnosis patients.

Timko C, Moos RH. Symptom severity, amount of treatment, and 1-year outcomes among dual diagnosis patients. Administration and policy in mental health. 2002 Sep 1; 30(1):35-54.

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This study reports on associations among symptom severity, amount of treatment, and 1-year outcomes in a national sample of 8,622 dual diagnosis patients, who were classified at treatment entry into low-, moderate-, and high-severity groups. Patients with more severe symptoms at intake had poorer 1-year outcomes. Higher severity patients did not receive adequate "doses" of care: Compared with low-severity patients, they had a shorter duration of care, although a longer duration was associated with improved outcomes; they also were less likely to receive outpatient substance abuse treatment, although more intensive treatment was associated with better drug outcomes. High-severity patients improved more on drug and legal outcomes, but less on psychiatric and family/social outcomes, than low-severity patients did when treatment was of longer duration or higher intensity. Dual diagnosis patients with highly severe symptoms would likely benefit from a longer episode of care that includes substance abuse and psychiatric outpatient treatment.

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