Dual-focus mutual aid for co-occurring disorders: A quasi-experimental outcome evaluation study

Stephen Magura, Andrew Rosenblum, Cherie L. Villano, Howard S. Vogel, Chunki Fong, Thomas Betzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Previous observational research has indicated the effectiveness of a 12-step, dual-focus mutual aid group, Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR), for assisting individuals to recover from co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. The current study extends this line of research by evaluating DTR with a quasi-experimental design; controlled designs are rare in studies of mutual aid. Patient outcomes in the same psychiatric day treatment program were compared for two consecutive admission cohorts characterized by high rates of co-occurring disorders. The first cohort did not have DTR available while the second cohort was exposed to DTR after it was established at the program. Both cohorts were assessed at program admission and at a six-month follow-up. Using intent to treat analysis, the Post-DTR cohort as compared with the Pre-DTR cohort had significantly fewer days of alcohol and drug use, more frequent traditional 12-step groups outside of the program and higher psychiatric medication adherence. There were no differences in psychiatric symptoms or program retention, however. This study helps demonstrate the benefits of introducing 12-step, dual-focus mutual aid into psychiatric treatment programs that serve patients with co-occurring disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • 12-step groups
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Mental illness
  • Mutual aid
  • Program evaluation
  • Self-help
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Dual-focus mutual aid for co-occurring disorders: A quasi-experimental outcome evaluation study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this