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Minerva Psichiatrica 2008 June;49(2):101-8


language: Italian

Epidemiological study on comorbidity of mental disorders and substance-related disorders in Italian Mental Health Care Trusts: preliminary results

Clerici M. 1, Carrà G. 2, Segagni Lusignani G. 3, 4, Sciarini P. 4, Borrelli P. 4, Popa I. 4, Di Giannantonio M. 5, Montomoli C. 4, Gruppo Collaborativo Nazionale Paddi

1 Dipartimento di Neuroscienze e Tecnologie Biomediche Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca Milano, Italia; 2 Department of Mental Health Sciences Royal Free University College Medical School, London, UK; 3 Centro Sacro Cuore di Gesù Ordine Ospedaliero dei Fatebenefratelli San Colombano al Lambro, Milano, Italia; 4 Dipartimento di Scienze Sanitarie Applicate e Psicocomportamentali Sezione di Statistica Medica ed Epidemiologia, Università di Pavia, Pavia, Italia; 5 Facoltà di Psicologia Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti, Italia


Aim. The major aim of this study was to explore epidemiological and organisational issues of health and social care services for dually diagnosed patients cared by Italian Mental Health Trusts. Specific aims were: estimation of dual diagnosis prevalence among patients of Mental Health Trusts in 2005; mapping of services for dually diagnosed patients; quantitative and qualitative evaluation of treatments provided for such patients; development of a questionnaire to collect information on dual diagnosis care patterns.
Methods. This study was a cross-sectional study on dually diagnosed patients who referred to Mental Health Trusts in 2005.
Results. The estimated prevalence of dual diagnosis is 3.8%. Mean age is 43 years among female patients and 40 among male patients (male-female ratio is 3:1); 41% of dually diagnosed patients suffer from drug dependence and 54% from substance abuse. Alcohol is the most used substance, both by addicted and by abusing patients. Treatments and services provided differ in different geographic areas.
Conclusion. The magnitude of dual diagnosis in Italy is comparable to that detected in Europe. Patients’ characteristics related to prevalence and severity are non homogeneous nationwide, supporting the hypothesis of the influence of socio-cultural context on dual diagnosis prevalence.

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