Brief Motivational Feedback May Enhance Treatment Entry in Veterans with Comorbid Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders

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Background and ObjectivesThere are limited investigations of brief interventions to facilitate treatment entry among individuals with substance use disorders. This study investigated the effectiveness of brief motivational feedback (BMF) for increasing entry into intensive substance abuse treatment in veteran patients.MethodsVeteran patients (N = 84) with substance use disorders referred for an intake assessment in a substance abuse specialty clinic received either (i) intake assessment plus BMF or (ii) intake assessment as usual (AAU). BMF consisted of brief motivational enhancement feedback pertaining to estimates of alcohol and drug consumption, money spent on drugs and alcohol, and self-reported problems due to substance abuse. Primary outcome was entry in treatment groups in an intensive outpatient program for substance abuse.ResultsPatients in BMF and AAU conditions did not significantly differ on indices of treatment entry. However, among patients with comorbid substance dependence and psychiatric disorders, those who received BMF were significantly more likely to enter outpatient treatment groups.Conclusions and Scientific SignificanceThe addition of motivational feedback to a standard intake assessment enhanced substance abuse treatment entry among veteran patients with comorbid substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders. These preliminary findings extend the use of motivational feedback to facilitate entry into substance abuse treatment among veteran patients with comorbid substance use and psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, they suggest opportunity for more effective patient-treatment matching based on initial motivation and other individual factors such as psychiatric comorbidity. (Am J Addict 2013;22:132-135)

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