Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

College of Nursing

Sub-Department

Nursing Practice

First Advisor

Kathleen Scharer

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease that affects over two million American adults. Those suffering with schizophrenia often have trouble with thinking clearly, distinguishing reality from fantasy, managing emotions sufficiently and relating to others. Substance use among those individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia is common and is correlated with less than ideal clinical outcomes. There is no current, steadfast recommendation regarding treating the patient with schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorders.

The purpose of this project was to develop an evidence based protocol of best practices for treating patients with schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorders. A review and analysis on current literature regarding schizophrenia and co-occurring substance use disorders was completed. Practice guidelines were compared, and a best practice guideline was created to optimize care for the stabilization of this population.

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