A team of researchers at the University of Queensland are hoping a new telephone intervention will successfully cut across diagnostic boundaries when treating young people with comorbid mental health and substance problems.

With a Mental Health Research Grant from Australian Rotary Health, Professor Leanne Hides and her colleagues will conduct a pilot randomised control trial of a telephone delivered transdiagnostic intervention called FullFix.

The aim is to determine whether the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) based program has better outcomes and is more cost-effective than standard care for people with alcohol and other drug disorders, such as case management and counselling.

“Comorbidity between alcohol and other drug disorders and mental health disorders is common, and current treatment approaches often fail to adequately address the risk and protective factors underlying these disorders,” Professor Hides said.

“Telephone-delivered transdiagnostic treatments like FullFix can rapidly increase treatment access to address complex patterns of comorbidity in a single intervention.”

If FullFix is shown to be effective, Professor Hides is confident there is great potential to improve young Australians’ mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

“Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) cuts across diagnostic boundaries to target the common psychological factors that underlie multiple disorders.”

“We think transdiagnostic treatments which target the common core psychosocial mechanisms underlying alcohol and other drug disorders and comorbid mental health problems to enable treatment to be tailored to the needs of clients with complex patterns of comorbidity, could improve treatment outcomes.”

With mental health disorders and alcohol and other drug disorders both at their peak, as well as being the leading causes of disability and death worldwide in young people, Professor Hides believes this research is more important than ever.

We wish Professor Hides and her team all the best with their research.

 

Media contact: Jessica Cooper – (02) 8837 1900 or jessica@arh.org.au