Approaches to comorbidity

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Key Points

  • Four models of care have been identified in the treatment of comorbidity: sequential treatment, parallel treatment, integrated treatment, and stepped care.
  • Integrated treatment presents a number of advantages over other treatment approaches; however, there is limited evidence to suggest that any one model is better than another.
  • Both psychological and pharmacological interventions have been found to have some benefit in the treatment of many comorbidities.
  • When pharmacotherapy is used, this should be accompanied by supportive psychosocial interventions.

This chapter aims to provide AOD workers with an overview of models of care and approaches that are commonly used in the treatment of both AOD and mental health disorders. In Chapter B6 we discuss the evidence regarding the efficacy of these approaches in relation to the management and treatment of specific comorbid mental disorders.