Decisional balance regarding substance use among persons with schizophrenia

Kate B. Carey, Daniel M. Purnine, Stephen A. Maisto, Michael P. Carey, Kristin L. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


State-of-the-science treatment of substance abuse relies on decisional balance activities (weighing pros and cons of continued substance use) to enhance motivation for change. Few data are available regarding the feasibility of these activities among persons dually diagnosed with schizophrenia and substance use disorder. To address this lacuna in the literature, we completed focus groups with 21 participants, all of whom had a schizophrenia-spectrum diagnosis and lifetime substance abuse or dependence. These key informants discussed the pros and cons of substance use as well as the pros and cons of quitting in response to a structured group interview. Our qualitative data indicate that persons living with schizophrenia can generate rich and diverse decisional balance information. We describe salient themes, contrast complementary perspectives (i.e., the pros of using and cons of quitting), and suggest treatment implications based on these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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