Abstract Disengagement from mental health services is a major obstacle to the treatment of homeless dual-diagnosis patients (i.e., those with severe mental illness and substance-use disorder). A subgroup of these patients is considered to be treatment resistant and we aim to explore whether patients’ reasons for disengagement may stem from negative experiences in their lives and treatment histories. This retrospective, explorative study examined the medical files of 183 severely dysfunctional dual-diagnosis patients who had been admitted involuntarily to a new specialized clinic for long-term treatment. Most patients shared common negative experiences with respect to childhood adversities, low school achievement, high levels of unemployment, discontinuity of care, and problems with the judicial system. The lifetime histories of treatment-resistant, severely dysfunctional dual-diagnosis patients showed a common pattern of difficulties that may have contributed to treatment resistance and disengagement from services. If these adversities are targeted, disengagement may be prevented and outcome improved.

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Keywords Compulsory treatment, Difficult-to-engage, Dual diagnosis, Homeless, Severely mentally ill, Treatment resistance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-018-9992-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/110181
Journal International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
van Kranenburg, G.D. (Grieke D.), Diekman, W.J. (Wout J.), Mulder, W.G. (Wijnand G.), Pijnenborg, G.H.M, van den Brink, R.H.S. (Rob H. S.), & Mulder, C.L. (2018). Histories of Social Functioning and Mental Healthcare in Severely Dysfunctional Dual-Diagnosis Psychiatric Patients. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi:10.1007/s11469-018-9992-7