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The concept of dual diagnosis came about in the 1980s and it has been postulated that managing patients with mental illnesses as well as substance use disorders concurrently may improve their outcome.
This study was a retrospective record review conducted to illustrate the influence of an admission to a Dual Diagnosis Unit (DDU) South Africa on readmission rates of patients; as compared to the readmission rates of a matched standard care (SC) group at the same hospital.
The aim of the study was to establish whether the management of patients with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders (SUDs) in an integrated dual diagnosis psychiatric unit influenced relapse and readmission rates.
The readmission rates of the 2 groups were analysed to determine if exposure to the DDU impacted on the re-hospitalisation of patients to SFH.
The study will be useful to medical professionals in the mental health, dual diagnosis, addiction and substance use fields and assist in improving the care and services offered to individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Tasneem Mahomed, MBBCh (Wits), FC Psych (SA), MMed Psychiatry (Wits) : studied Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and specialized in Psychiatry.
Consultant psychiatrist in private practice in Cape Town, South Africa
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