A study of practices and attitudes of a local Community Alcohol and Drug Service Workforce in relation to consumers with coexisting mental health and addiction problems
The first comprehensive national study on the opinions and attitudes of the New Zealand addiction workforce in addressing coexisting problems (CEP) was carried out by Gilbert (2010) using a telephone survey. The aim of this current research was to explore the views and practices of a local Community Alcohol and Drug Service (CADS) workforce, in relation to working with consumers who have coexisting addiction and mental health issues, using a survey-questionnaire (survey) and conducting clinical file audits to compare what is reported versus what is recorded. A survey was adapted from the Gilbert (2010) study and Matua Raki, Coexisting Problems Service Checklist (2012). The survey, completed by seventeen participants, focussed on four areas: 1. Demographics, 2. Mental health knowledge and confidence in recognising disorders, 3. Use of knowledge of mental health screening and assessment tools and 4. Attitudes towards consumers with CEP. The purpose of the clinical file audit was to apply a set of pre-determined indicators (to a sample of 138 clinical files) that would identify and assess data within clinical files, which demonstrated mental health assessment by alcohol and other drug (AOD) practitioners. Findings from this study highlighted differences in level of knowledge, confidence, attitudes and practices between participants and differences in what participants reported conducting compared to what was evident in the clinical files. This study indicates the need to not only deliver mental health education to AOD practitioners and provide resources to achieve this, but to provide coaching and supervision post training in the workplace. By upskilling the workforce this could lead to an increase in knowledge on assessment and treatment practices for consumers with CEP and in turn achieve better outcomes for consumers.
Advisor: Carlyle, Dave; Deering, Daryle
Degree Name: Master of Health Sciences
Degree Discipline: Psychological Medicine
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Addiction workforce; CEP; coexisting problems; CADS; community alcohol and drug service; addiction; mental health
Research Type: Thesis