Background Substance use disorders (SUDs) are highly prevalent among veteran psychiatry inpatients. Dual substance use and psychiatric diagnoses are related to poor outcomes and rehospitalizations, which are quite costly. However, relatively little is known about how to effectively help dually diagnosed psychiatry inpatients. Telephone Monitoring (TM) is effective among SUD patients at increasing SUD continuing care and self-help utilization and improving SUD outcomes. This study will build on these findings and contribute important new clinical knowledge by determining whether TM is similarly effective when adapted for dually diagnosed veteran psychiatry inpatients. It will evaluate the effectiveness of a manual-guided TM intervention. Objectives Primary hypotheses are that patients in the TM condition, compared to patients in usual care (UC), will attend more SUD continuing care sessions and 12-step group meetings, and have better SUD outcomes. Secondary hypotheses are that TM patients will have better psychiatric outcomes, fewer and delayed rehospitalizations, and their better outcomes will be mediated by SUD outpatient treatment and 12- step group participation. Methods The study will take place at two VAs: Palo Alto (VISN 21) and Ann Arbor (VISN 11). Dually diagnosed patients in psychiatry inpatient treatment will be randomly assigned to UC or TM. Patients in the TM condition will receive an in-person session while in treatment, followed by monitoring over the telephone for three months after discharge. The intervention will incorporate motivational interviewing to monitor patients'substance use, facilitate entry into outpatient treatment, and encourage 12-step self-help group participation. Patients will be assessed at baseline, end-of-intervention, and six months and one year post- intervention for primary and secondary outcomes and non-VA health care;VA health care will be assessed with VA databases. GLMM analyses will be conducted to compare the UC and TM groups on course of primary and secondary outcomes over time;sequential regression analyses will examine whether outcomes associated with TM are mediated by more SUD continuing care and 12-step group participation.

Public Health Relevance

This research program will improve the care and treatment outcomes of dually diagnosed veterans who receive inpatient psychiatry care, and decrease their use of VA inpatient mental health services. It will increase the use of substance abuse outpatient care and 12-step groups to benefit recovery, reduce rehospitalizations, and reduce costs for VA.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Veterans Affairs (VA)
Non-HHS Research Projects (I01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Blank (HSR7)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Veterans Admin Palo Alto Health Care Sys
Palo Alto
United States
Zip Code