Implementation of a Multi-Modal Training Program for the Management of Comorbid Mental Disorders in Drug and Alcohol Settings: Pathways to Comorbidity Care (PCC)

J Dual Diagn. Oct-Dec 2021;17(4):304-312. doi: 10.1080/15504263.2021.1984152. Epub 2021 Oct 26.


Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the impact of the Pathways to Comorbidity Care (PCC) training program for alcohol and other drugs (AOD) clinicians to improve the management of comorbidity.

Methods: A controlled before-and-after study using PCC training was conducted across 6 matched sites in Australia including 35 clinicians. Controls received standard workplace training. PCC training included seminar presentations, workshops conducted by local "clinical champions," individual clinical supervision, and access to an online information portal. We examined (a) identification (screening, assessment) and treatment (treatment, referral) of comorbidity in practice (N = 10 clinical files per clinician), (b) self-efficacy, knowledge, and attitudes of clinicians.

Results: Significant improvements were observed in the PCC group but not the control sites with regards to the rate of clinical files showing identification of comorbidity (+50% v -12% change from baseline, respectively; [X2 (1, N = 340) = 35.29, p = .01] with only a trend for improvements in the rate of files demonstrating treatment of comorbidity [X2 (1, N = 340) = 10.45, p = .06]. There were significant improvements in the PCC relative to the control group for clinician self-efficacy, F(1,33) = 6.40, p = .02 and knowledge and attitudes of comorbidity monitoring, F(1,33) = 8.745, p = .01.

Conclusions: The PCC training package may help improve identification of comorbidity, self-efficacy, and attitudes toward screening and monitoring of comorbidity in drug and alcohol settings.

Keywords: Comorbidity; implementation science; mental disorders; substance use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / complications
  • Mental Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations