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Dual diagnosis capability after an AOD workforce initiative

Nicole K. Lee (Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre, Fitzroy, Australia and School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Jacqui Cameron (Research Fellow, Turning Point Drugs and Alcohol Centre, Fitzroy, Australia and Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)
Angela Harney (Research Fellow, Turning Point Drugs and Alcohol Centre, Fitzroy, Australia. Sandra Roeg is a Senior Training Officer, Turning Point Drugs and Alcohol Centre, Fitzroy, Australia)
Sandra Roeg (Senior Training Officer, Turning Point Drugs and Alcohol Centre, Fitzroy, Australia)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 17 November 2011




Dissemination of good practice information to practitioners is one of the great challenges of the substance abuse treatment sector. The authors' understanding of the process by which research is translated is limited, but a whole of workforce approach is considered best practice. This paper aims to examine organisational change as a result of a workforce capacity‐building program over six months.


A total of 195 staff (nine service managers, 39 supervisors and 147 clinicians) in 13 alcohol and other drug (AOD) services across Australia participated in mental health screening and brief intervention training using PsyCheck. PsyCheck is designed to detect and address common mental health symptoms among drug treatment clients. The Dual Diagnosis Capability in Addiction Treatment (DDCAT) index was used to measure capacity before and after training.


There was no significant difference between baseline and follow‐up DDCAT scores; however, the level of PsyCheck implementation indicated improvement in DDCAT scores.

Practical implications

The results show that where organisations implement the program successfully, capacity improves; where the program is not well implemented, capacity reduces. Successful implementers report a number of common elements: the screening tool was implemented into routine assessment; there was a single onsite “champion” supporting the implementation; and they worked with the staff and persisted with the implementation even where there was initial worker resistance.


This paper provides the opportunity to assess workforce capacity building and the feasibility of utilising the DCCAT to measure co‐occurring mental health and substance use disorders in Australian AOD services.



Lee, N.K., Cameron, J., Harney, A. and Roeg, S. (2011), "Dual diagnosis capability after an AOD workforce initiative", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 190-197.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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