Outcomes of Mandated Treatment for Women with Histories of Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders

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Coercion, Trauma, Co-occurring disorders, Mandated treatment, Women

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Although there is much momentum for behavioral health policies supporting mandated treatment, there is little evidence supporting its safety and effectiveness for individuals with complex issues. The authors used a national study of women with co-occurring psychiatric, substance use disorders and histories of trauma to compare mandated and voluntary treatment by examining psychiatric, substance use, and trauma-related outcomes following treatment. This quasi-experimental study included 2,726 women, with measures completed at baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up. Two-way analyses of covariance examined the main and interactive effects of coercive status (mandated vs. voluntary) and condition (integrated treatment vs. services as usual) on psychiatric distress, trauma-related symptoms, and substance use outcomes. Women did better with integrated treatment and with mandated treatment regardless of treatment condition for psychiatric, trauma, and substance use outcomes at both follow-ups. Further research clarifying unintended side effects and change mechanisms of mandated treatment is needed to inform policy decisions.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, v. 37, issue 4, p. 346-352