Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 March 2007
Low self-esteem is a common characteristic amongst populations with schizophrenia and co-morbid substance abuse (dual diagnosis) and has been linked to increased psychopathology, substance abuse and lower social functioning. The following study built upon the promising results of Hall and Tarrier (2003) and examined the feasibility and clinical utility of a cognitive behavioural intervention for low self-esteem within a population of dual diagnosis inpatients. A small sample of dual diagnosis inpatients (N = 23) were screened during a one-month wait list period to ensure stability in presentation of low self-esteem, psychopathology and substance abuse before commencing a brief eight-session intervention for low self-esteem. Results collected post intervention showed participants displayed significant increases in levels of self-esteem and corresponding significant decreases in depressive symptoms and psychopathology associated with schizophrenia. These improvements were maintained at 3-month follow-up. Outcomes were examined in terms of identifying and implementing beneficial treatments for dual diagnosis populations within everyday psychiatric settings, a population often considered one of the most challenging to treat.