Does the addition of integrated cognitive behaviour therapy and motivational interviewing improve the outcomes of standard care for young people with comorbid depression and substance misuse?

Leanne Hides, Kathryn Elkins, Antonietta Scaffidi, Sue Cotton, Steve Carroll, Dan Lubman

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28 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the addition of cognitive behaviour therapy and motivational interviewing (CBT/MI) to standard alcohol and other drug (AOD) care improves outcomes for young people with comorbid depression and substance misuse.PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Participants were young people with comorbid depression (Kessler Psychological Distress Scale score a?Y 17) and substance misuse (mainly alcohol and/or cannabis) seeking treatment at two youth AOD services in Melbourne, Australia. The study was conducted between September 2006 and September 2008. Sixty young people received CBT/MI in addition to standard care (SC) (the SC+CBT/MI group) and 28 received SC only (the SC group).MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Depressive symptoms and AOD use in the previous 30 days, measured at baseline and at 3-month and 6-month follow-up.RESULTS: Compared with participants in the SC group, those in the SC+CBT/MI group showed significant reductions in depression and cannabis use and increased social contact and motivation to change substance use at 3-month follow-up. However, at 6-month follow-up, the SC group had achieved similar improvements to the CBT/MI group on these variables. All young people achieved significant improvements in functioning and quality of life variables over time, regardless of treatment group. No changes in AOD use were found in either group at 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSION: The delivery of CBT/MI in addition to SC may achieve accelerated treatment gains in the short term.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31 - 37
Number of pages7
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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