Substance abuse/mental illness: Diagnostic issues

Janet Ford, James R. Hillard, Linda J. Giesler, Kermit L. Lassen, Halbert Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


"Dual diagnoses" of substance abuse and mental illness disorders are common both in psychiatric and substance abuse treatment settings. Recent studies have demonstrated that specific diagnostic categories of mental illness have implications for treatment outcomes of dually disordered patients, but a diagnostic standard has not emerged. The present study compared lay-administered DIS diagnoses with clinical diagnoses of patients in a state hospital treatment program for "dual diagnoses" patients. Categories of DIS diagnoses showed weak association with categories of clinical diagnoses. Several frequent DIS diagnoses were not made clinically and vice versa. Implications for choice of diagnostic instruments to use with this patient population are discussed, as is the potential value of structured assessments in supplementing clinical data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The SAM1 Project is jointly funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Hamilton County Community Mental Health Board.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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