A Multi-Centre, Randomised Controlled Trial Of A Group Psychological Intervention For Psychosis With Comorbid Cannabis Dependence Over The Early Course Of Illness

Presentation First Author: 
Kevin Madigan

Background: Patients who experience the onset of psychotic illness with a comorbid diagnosis of cannabis dependence experience poor clinical outcomes. Few studies have identified interventions that reduce cannabis use and improve clinical outcome amongst this population. Aims We undertook a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of a group psychological intervention for psychosis with comorbid cannabis dependence to establish any effect to reduce cannabis use and improve symptoms, global functioning, insight, attitudes to treatment and subjective quality of life. Method Across three centres, we compared a group psychological intervention, based on cognitive behavioural therapy and motivational interviewing, with treatment as usual among patients experiencing their first psychotic episode or early in the course of psychotic illness. Substance misuse and indices of clinical outcome were assessed at baseline, 3 months and 1 year. Results At 3 month and 1 year follow-ups, there was no evidence for an intervention effect on cannabis use, symptoms, global functioning insight or attitude to treatment. However, the intervention improved subjective quality of life at 3 months and this effect was sustained at 1 year. Conclusions Over the early phase of psychotic illness, group psychological interventions for those with comorbid cannabis dependence improved subjective quality of life. However, this was not associated with reduction in use of cannabis or improvement in clinical outcomes.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2013
Additional Authors: 
Kevin Madigan, Elizabeth Lawlor, Daria Brennan, Niall Turner, Anthony Kinsella, John, J. O Connor, Vincent Russell, John, L. Waddington, Eadbhard O Callaghan,
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