Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Alcohol use and service utilization among veterans in treatment for schizophrenia.

Pedersen ER, Huang W, Cohen AN, Young AS. Alcohol use and service utilization among veterans in treatment for schizophrenia. Psychological Services. 2018 Feb 1; 15(1):21-30.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


Comorbid alcohol and drug use disorders are treatable and have substantial effects on outcomes and health care utilization in people with schizophrenia. While these substance use disorders (SUDs) are thought to be common in patients with schizophrenia, it has been difficult to characterize prevalence and treatment utilization of this population, since administrative data and medical records may not identify patients with schizophrenia who have an SUD diagnosis. In this study, we used an in-person, population-based survey of 801 individuals with schizophrenia who were in treatment within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to inform service delivery for patients with these problems. We examined patient- and clinician-reported data on substance use, psychotic symptoms, medication adherence, and quality of life, plus service utilization records, to understand the extent of comorbid substance use in this population and how those with varying levels of alcohol use utilize services. About 15.3% of the population self-reported use but not misuse of alcohol, while 7.4% reported misuse in the past month. We found few differences in demographic characteristics among those who were alcohol nonusers, users, and misusers, though alcohol misusers reported less frequent medication adherence, more frequent other drug use, worse psychotic symptoms, and worse quality of life. Alcohol users and misusers reported less use of general medical, mental health, occupational, and housing services at VHA, compared with nonusers. Targeted outreach efforts are needed to engage veterans with schizophrenia who drink at any level to engage them in services. (PsycINFO Database Record

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.