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Development of a Computerized Interview for Substance Use for People with SMI

Funding Source

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Center for Technology and Behavioral Health Pilot Core

Project Period

March 2013 – February 2014

Principal Investigator

Mary Brunette, M.D.

Other Project Staff

Joelle Ferron,PhD; James Sargent, M.D.; Mary Ann Greene, MS; Pamela Geiger, BS

Project Summary

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are common among people with severe mental illnesses (schizophrenia and severe mood disorders, SMI), complicating treatment and worsening outcomes. Multiple new substances are available, but little is known about the prevalence of their use in this vulnerable population.  Our unpublished pilot data suggest that use of such new substances may be common in people with SMI and may impede treatment efforts.

We propose to develop a prototype of an Audio Computer-Assisted Self Interview survey that will be usable and comprehensible by people with SMI, who are often unable to use standard computer programs due to cognitive impairments and low computer skills. The interview tool we develop will enable future survey work to obtain key information about new and emerging substance use among people with SMI.