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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 140868, 9 pages
Research Article

Differences in Characteristics and Treatment Received among Depressed Adolescent Psychiatric Outpatients with and without Co-Occuring Alcohol Misuse: A 1-Year Follow-Up Study

1Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, P.O. Box 30, 00271 Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Child Psychiatry, The Turku University Central Hospital, P.O. Box 52 Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, Rak 10, 20521 Turku, Finland
3Department of Adolescent Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, P.O. Box 590, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 590, 00029 HUS, Helsinki, Finland

Received 30 June 2010; Revised 30 November 2010; Accepted 14 March 2011

Academic Editor: Robert Milin

Copyright © 2011 Tiia Pirkola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. We aimed at examining the differences between depressed psychiatric adolescent outpatients with and without cooccurring alcohol misuse in psychosocial background, clinical characteristics, and treatment received during one-year followup. Furthermore, we investigated factors related to nonattendance at treatment. Materials and Methods. Consecutive 156 adolescent (13–19 years) psychiatric outpatients with a unipolar depressive disorder at baseline were interviewed using structured measures at baseline and at 12 months. Alcohol misuse was defined as having an AUDIT score of 8 or more points. The outpatients received “treatment as usual” of clinically defined duration. Results. Among depressive outpatients, poor parental support, parental alcohol use and decreased attendance at treatment associated with alcohol misuse. The severity of alcohol use as measured by AUDIT-score was the strongest factor independently predicting nonattendance at treatment in multivariate analysis. Conclusions. Alcohol misuse indicates family problems, has a deleterious effect on treatment attendance, and should be taken into account when managing treatment for depressive adolescent outpatients.