This study is a post hoc service level investigation into the efficacy of a forensic dual diagnosis intervention. The treatment programme incorporated the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and Motivational Interviewing, and was comprised of three stages: psycho-education into the links between mental/physical health, substance use and offending, the cultivation of coping strategies and relapse prevention planning. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Treatment outcome was tracked using pre- and post- stage 1 and 2 measures, and included self-report questionnaires that probed service users’ readiness for change, motivations for treatment and perceived effectiveness of coping strategies (n=80 and 37 patients for stages 1 and 2, respectively). In addition, service users undertook a knowledge “quiz”, which probed information retention.
The results show that whilst psycho-education (stage 1) increased service users’ knowledge of key issues, this had no parallel effects on other measures. In contrast, completion of stage 2 led to an increase in external motivation for treatment, although this did not translate into a shift in service users’ readiness for change.
These findings are consistent with the Motivational Interviewing literature and highlight the need for a shift in internalised motivation for treatment if change is to be elicited. Further, they point towards the viability of using self-report measures to monitor treatment outcome in a secure forensic setting.
These findings have a number of implications for the design and on-going evaluation of forensic dual diagnosis services, an area of research that is currently under-represented in the literature.
Tibber, M.S., Piek, N. and Boulter, S. (2015), "Preliminary evaluation of a forensic dual diagnosis intervention", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 42-56. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-08-2014-0019
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