Substance Misuse among a Diverse Psychiatric Inpatient Sample: Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors and Motivation to Change

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Behavioral Medicine


Suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs) are among the most common reasons for admission to psychiatric inpatient units and a large percentage of these patients also engage in substance misuse. Yet, no known studies have examined whether patients with STBs admitted to inpatient psychiatry units are motivated to change their substance misuse and, if so, whether they benefit from MET-CBT for substance misuse while on the inpatient unit. This study assesses the relationship between STB and motivation to improve substance misuse among 321 (61.1% male, Mage = 35.3 years, 59.8% non-Hispanic/Latin White) patients admitted to an inpatient psychiatric unit with a substance use disorder (SUD) or substance misuse who attended at least one group MET-CBT session, 50.2% of whom were admitted to an inpatient unit for STBs. Patients admitted for STBs reported greater motivation to reduce substance misuse than patients admitted without documented STB, and they did not differ from patients without documented STBs on the number of MET-CBT sessions attended, or ratings of session helpfulness (which were high). Patients admitted for STBs reported significantly increased motivation to change substance misuse after attending MET-CBT for SUD. These findings indicate that psychiatric inpatients with STBs report motivation to change substance misuse as well as willingness to attend MET-CBT for their SUD.

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