The group was the only therapy which supported my needs, because it helped me feel normal and I was able to speak out with a voice’: A qualitative study of an integrated group treatment for dual diagnosis service users within a community mental health setting

John Chilton, Diane Crone, Philip Tyson

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Abstract

Whilst the evidence for the efficacy of treatment interventions for
individuals with dual diagnosis has been developing in recent decades, little is known about individual perceptions and the personal benefits of attending integrated treatment programmes within this population group.

A qualitative methodology, Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, was used to investigate the experiences of individuals with a range of complex mental health and co-existing substance misuse problems who took part in a Psychoeducational Group (PEG) Programme. This comprised of social support and therapeutic peer group relationship facilitation. Semi structured interviews were undertaken with 15 service users who successfully participated in this treatment Programme.

Findings identify the complexity of the therapeutic process and
understanding of the treatment from the service users perspective. This included the importance forming meaningful therapeutic relationships as an influential factor in countering a range of distressing and incompatible environmental and situational stressors, such as self-regulatory control,
self-awareness of a need for change and the importance of integrated treatment in reducing the sense of stigma and exclusion linked with using mental health services.

The study findings support the use of integrated treatment programmes in mental health services with a dual diagnosis population group.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Early online date2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • dual diagnosis, mental health, substance misuse, qualitative, service users, integrated treatment.

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