[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is an important correlate of substance abuse severity in the addiction population and in people with co-occurring serious mental illness and addiction. Because family members often provide vital supports to relatives with co-occurring disorders, this study explored the correlates of ASPD in 103 people with co-occurring disorders (79% schizophrenia-schizoaffective, 21% bipolar disorder) in high contact with relatives participating in a family intervention study. Clients with ASPD were more likely to have bipolar disorder and to have been married, but less likely to have graduated from high school. ASPD was associated with more severe drug abuse and depression, worse functioning, and less planning-based social problem solving. The relatives of clients with ASPD also reported less planning-based problem solving, worse attitudes towards the client, and worse mental health functioning. Client ASPD was associated with less long-term exposure to family intervention. The findings suggest that clients with ASPD in addition to co-occurring disorders are a particularly disadvantaged group with greater illness severity, more impaired functioning, and more strained family relationships. These difficulties may pose special challenges to delivering family intervention for this group.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substance use disorders have a profound impact on the course of severe mental illnesses and on the family, but little research has evaluated the impact of family intervention for this population. To address this question, a randomized controlled trial was conducted comparing a brief (2-3 mo) Family Education (ED) program with a longer-term (9-18 mo) program that combined education with teaching communication and problem-solving skills, Family Intervention for Dual Disorders (FIDD). A total of 108 clients (77% schizophrenia-spectrum) and a key relative were randomized to either ED or FIDD and assessed at baseline and every 6 months for 3 years. Rates of retention of families in both programs were moderate. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated that clients in both programs improved in psychiatric, substance abuse, and functional outcomes, as did key relatives in knowledge of co-occurring disorders, burden, and mental health functioning. Clients in FIDD had significantly less severe overall psychiatric symptoms and psychotic symptoms and tended to improve more in functioning. Relatives in FIDD improved more in mental health functioning and knowledge of co-occurring disorders. There were no consistent differences between the programs in substance abuse severity or family burden. The findings support the utility of family intervention for co-occurring disorders, and the added benefits of communication and problem-solving training, but also suggest the need to modify these programs to retain more families in treatment in order to provide them with the information and skills they need to overcome the effects of these disorders.