HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Short-term outcomes of matching dual diagnosis patients' symptom severity to treatment intensity.
Timko C, Sempel JM. Short-term outcomes of matching dual diagnosis patients' symptom severity to treatment intensity. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2004 Apr 1; 26(3):209-18.
This study evaluated a patient-treatment matching strategy intended to improve the effectiveness of hospital-inpatient and community-residential treatment for dual diagnosis patients. Matching variables were the severity of patient disorders and the program's service intensity. Each of three high-intensity hospital programs was paired with a nearby high-intensity community program; there were also four low-intensity pairs. Patients (N = 230) were randomly assigned to hospital or community care at intake, and followed at discharge (96%) and at 4 months (90%). Support was found for the matching strategy at discharge in that severely ill patients treated in high-intensity programs improved more on substance abuse outcomes, and moderately ill patients treated in low-intensity programs improved more on psychiatric outcomes. The benefits of matching held at 4 months in that high-severity patients had better alcohol outcomes when they were treated in high-rather than low-intensity programs. High-and moderate-severity patients did not show differential outcomes in hospital-based or community-based programs. Dual diagnosis patients should be matched by symptom severity with program service intensity, but matching with hospital or community care may not enhance treatment outcomes.