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Project title: Psychological interventions for dual diagnosis

Primary supervisor: Dr Jaime Delgadillo

Co-supervisor/s: Professor Petra Meier

Project description: People with drug or alcohol addictions often have considerable mental health problems. This combination of problems (dual diagnosis) is known to complicate treatment and is associated with poor health and social outcomes. For example, dependent substance users are up to 5 times more likely to have depression or anxiety disorders by comparison to people who donít use substances frequently. People with this combination of problems are also at greater risk of treatment dropout, hospitalization and suicide. In the UK, it has been estimated that up to 70% of addiction service users are likely to have clinically significant depression and/or anxiety problems. There is a rapidly growing evidence-base which shows that psychological interventions for dual diagnosis can help to alleviate distress and manage substance use. Several trial-based intervention manuals are available, which tailor interventions to the complex needs of this client group (see: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/toc/add/9/2%2F3). However, evidence-based psychological interventions are rarely available to clients undergoing addictions treatment and there is still a considerable gap between evidence and routine practice.

The aims of this research programme are to support the application and evaluation of evidence-based psychological interventions in routine addictions treatment. Two strands of work may be pursued by PhD / DClinPsy students interested in this area: (1) the training of substance use workers in delivering evidence-based psychosocial interventions for dual diagnosis ; (2) assessing the feasibility and acceptability of applying these interventions in routine addictions treatment.


Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Dr Jaime Delgadillo (j.delgadillo@sheffield.ac.uk)

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