Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research

Psycho-education for substance use and antisocial personality disorder: A randomized trial

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Background: Antisocial personality disorder often co-exists with drug and alcohol use disorders.
Methods: This trial examined the effectiveness of offering psycho-education for antisocial personality disorder in community substance use disorder treatment centers in Denmark. A total of 176 patients were randomly allocated to treatment as usual (TAU, n = 80) or TAU plus a psycho-educative program, Impulsive Lifestyle Counselling (ILC, n = 96) delivered by site clinicians (n = 39). Using follow-up interviews 3 and 9 months after randomization, we examined changes in drug and alcohol use (Addiction Severity Index Composite Scores), percent days abstinent (PDA) within last month, and aggression as measured with the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire-Short Form and the Self-Report of Aggression and Social Behavior Measure.
Results: Overall engagement in psychological interventions was modest: 71 (76%) of participants randomized to psycho-education attended at least one counselling session, and 21 (23%) attended all six sessions. The Median number of sessions was 2. All patients reduced drug and alcohol problems at 9 months with small within-group effect sizes. Intention-to-treat analyses indicated significant differences between ILC and TAU in mean drugs composite score (p = .018) and in PDA (p = .041) at 3 months. Aggression declined in both groups, but no differences between ILC and TAU were observed in terms of alcohol problems or aggression at any follow-up.
Conclusions: Moderate short-term improvements in substance use were associated with randomization to Impulsive Lifestyle Counselling. The findings support the usefulness of providing psycho-education to outpatients with antisocial personality disorder.
Trial registration: ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN67266318, 17/7/2012
Original languageEnglish
Article number283
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2015

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