Integration of alcohol and drug nurses into a mental health unit

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Objective: Test whether extra time with alcohol and drug nurses for inpatients at a Mental Health Unit (MHU) reduces post-discharge mental and co-occurring alcohol and drug problems and increases engagement in alcohol and drug treatment more than a Brief Information Pack (BIP).
Method: Single blind randomised control trial in block design compared two alcohol and drug nurse delivered interventions over 6 months post-discharge using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and Brief Symptom Inventory index of overall psychological distress Global Severity Index (GSI).
Results: Alcohol and drug nurse delivered BIP was associated with a statistically significant reduction in AUDIT measured alcohol use for the highest follow-up score across the 6-month post-discharge period, n = 20, t = 2.24, p = 0.037, d = 0.50 and for the extra time intervention, n = 11, t = 2.51, p = 0.031, d = 0.76.
Conclusions: MHUs may benefit from the integration of alcohol and drug nurses with community alcohol and drug treatment experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-508
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 May 2022


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