Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Reducing drinking in concurrent problem alcohol and illicit drug users: An impact story
    Background: One out of three people who receive methadone in primary care drink in excess of the recommended limits. This poses significant risk to their health, especially to their liver; it complicates their care and increases risk of relapse. Objective: To inform addiction treatment in primary care with respect to psychosocial interventions to reduce drinking in concurrent problem alcohol and illicit drug users, by: exploring the experience of (and evidence for) psychosocial interventions, developing and evaluating a complex intervention to improve implementation. Evaluation of the intervention tested core feasibility and acceptability outcomes for patients and providers.
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  • Publication
    Opiate use disorders and overdose: Medical students' experiences, satisfaction with learning, and attitudes toward community naloxone provision
    Opiate use disorder is a common condition in healthcare services in Ireland, where over 200 opiate overdose deaths occur annually. There is limited addiction medicine education at undergraduate level and medical graduates may not be adequately prepared to diagnose and manage opioid use disorders and emergency drug overdose presentations. Therefore, we examined final-year medical students' learning experiences and attitudes toward opioid use disorder, overdose and community naloxone provision as an emerging overdose treatment. Methods: We administered an anonymous paper-based survey to 243 undergraduate medical students undertaking their final professional completion module prior to graduation from University College Dublin, Ireland. Results were compared with parallel surveys of General Practitioners (GPs) and GP trainees. Results: A total of 197 (82.1%) completed the survey. Just under half were male, and most were aged under 25 (63.3%) and of Irish nationality (76.7%). The students felt moderately prepared to recognise opioid use disorder, but felt less prepared to manage other aspects of its care. Most had taken a history from a patient with an opioid use disorder (82.8%), and a third had witnessed at least one opioid overdose. Although 10.3% had seen naloxone administered, most had never administered naloxone themselves (98.5%). Half supported wider naloxone availability; this was lower than support rates among GPs (63.6%) and GP trainees (66.1%).Conclusions: Our findings suggest an unmet learning need in undergraduate training on opioid use disorder, with potential consequences for patient care.
      377Scopus© Citations 9
  • Publication
    Primary care: a key route for distribution of naloxone in the community
    Heroin use continues to drive opioid-related overdoses and mortality globally (Degenhardt & Hall, 2012). Not-as-prescribed use of prescription opioids increases the number of victims of this epidemic (Logan, Liu, Paulozzi, Zhang, & Jones, 2013). Naloxone has been shown to reduce mortality in overdose among people who use heroin and other opioids; however, its administration in a number of countries, including Ireland, is limited to paramedics and health professionals (Bury, 2015), despite proven effectiveness of overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programmes by trained lay-people worldwide (McAuley, Aucott, & Matheson, 2015). The effectiveness of these programmes has been demonstrated around outcomes such as knowledge, skills, attitudes and reduced overdose deaths (Coffin & Sullivan, 2013), and involved groups including social workers and needle-exchange staff as well as family and friends of people who use opioids (Walley et al., 2013). While recent systematic reviews have demonstrated the efficacy and feasibility of training diverse groups in OEND (Behar, Santos, Wheeler, Rowe, & Coffin, 2015), the potential and capacity of general practice (GP), to contribute in this area have not been fully characterised (Nielsen & Van Hout, 2016). A naloxone demonstration project is underway in Ireland at the moment and aims to reduce Ireland’s high number of opioid-related deaths (Department of Health, 2015).
      308Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Development and process evaluation of an educational intervention for overdose prevention and naloxone distribution by general practice trainees
    Background: Overdose is the most common cause of fatalities among opioid users. Naloxone is a life-saving medication for reversing opioid overdose. In Ireland, it is currently available to ambulance and emergency care services, but General Practitioners (GP) are in regular contact with opioid users and their families. This positions them to provide naloxone themselves or to instruct patients how to use it. The new Clinical Practice Guidelines of the Pre-hospital Emergency Care Council of Ireland allows trained bystanders to administer intranasal naloxone. We describe the development and process evaluation of an educational intervention, designed to help GP trainees identify and manage opioid overdose with intranasal naloxone. Methods: Participants (N = 23) from one postgraduate training scheme in Ireland participated in a one-hour training session. The repeated-measures design, using the validated Opioid Overdose Knowledge (OOKS) and Attitudes (OOAS) Scales, examined changes immediately after training. Acceptability and satisfaction with training were measured with a self-administered questionnaire. Results: Knowledge of the risks of overdose and appropriate actions to be taken increased significantly post-training [OOKS mean difference, 3.52 (standard deviation 4.45); P < 0.001]; attitudes improved too [OOAS mean difference, 11.13 (SD 6.38); P < 0.001]. The most and least useful delivery methods were simulation and video, respectively. Conclusion: Appropriate training is a key requirement for the distribution of naloxone through general practice. In future studies, the knowledge from this pilot will be used to inform a train-the-trainer model, whereby healthcare professionals and other front-line service providers will be trained to instruct opioid users and their families in overdose prevention and naloxone use.  
      295Scopus© Citations 13
  • Publication
    Excellent reliability and validity of the Addiction Medicine Training Need Assessment Scale across four countries
    Background: Addiction is a context specific but common and devastating condition. Though several evidence-based treatments are available, many of them remain under-utilized, among others due to the lack of adequate training in addiction medicine (AM). AM Training needs may differ across countries because of difference in discipline and level of prior AM training or contextual factors like epidemiology and availability of treatment. For appropriate testing of training needs, reliability and validity are key issues. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the AM-TNA Scale: an instrument specifically designed to develop the competence-based curriculum of the Indonesian AM course. Methods: In a cross-sectional study in Indonesia, Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands the AM-TNA was distributed among a convenience sample of health professionals working in addiction care in The Netherlands, Lithuania, Indonesia and General Practitioners in-training in Ireland. 428 respondents completed the AM-TNA scale. To assess the factor structure, we used explorative factor analysis. Reliability was tested using Cronbach's Alpha, ANOVA determined the discriminative validity. Results: Validity: factor analysis revealed a two-factor structure: One on providing direct patient treatment and care (Factor 1: clinical) and one factor on facilitating/supporting direct patient treatment and care (Factor 2: non-clinical) AM competencies and a cumulative 76% explained variance. Reliability: Factor 1 α = 0.983 and Factor 2: α = 0.956, while overall reliability was (α = 0.986). The AM-TNA was able to differentiate training needs across groups of AM professionals on all 30 addiction medicine competencies (P =.001). Conclusions: In our study the AM-TNA scale had a strong two-factor structure and proofed to be a reliable and valid instrument. The next step should be the testing external validity, strengthening discriminant validity and assessing the re-test effect and measuring changes over time.
      352Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Psychosocial interventions to reduce alcohol consumption in concurrent problem alcohol and illicit drug users
    Background: Problem alcohol use is common among illicit drug users and is associated with adverse health outcomes. It is also an important factor contributing to a poor prognosis among drug users with hepatitis C virus (HCV) as it impacts on progression to hepatic cirrhosis or opiate overdose in opioid users. Objectives: To assess the effects of psychosocial interventions for problem alcohol use in illicit drug users (principally problem drug users of opiates and stimulants). Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group trials register (June 2014), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library, Issue 11, June 2014), MEDLINE (1966 to June 2014); EMBASE (1974 to June 2014); CINAHL (1982 to June 2014); PsycINFO (1872 to June 2014) and the reference lists of eligible articles. We also searched: 1) conference proceedings (online archives only) of the Society for the Study of Addiction, International Harm Reduction Association, International Conference on Alcohol Harm Reduction and American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence; 2) online registers of clinical trials: Current Controlled Trials, Clinical Trials.org, Center Watch and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials comparing psychosocial interventions with another therapy (other psychosocial treatment, including non-pharmacological therapies, or placebo) in adult (over the age of 18 years) illicit drug users with concurrent problem alcohol use. Data collection and analysis: We used the standard methodological procedures expected by The Cochrane Collaboration
      486Scopus© Citations 33
  • Publication
    Urban Overdose Hotspots: A 12-Month Prospective Study in Dublin Ambulance Services
    Background: Opioid overdose is the primary cause of death among drug users globally. Personal and social determinants of overdose have been studied before, but the environmental factors lacked research attention. Area deprivation or presence of addiction clinics may contribute to overdose. Objectives: To examine the baseline incidence of all new opioid overdoses in an ambulance service, and their relationship with urban deprivation and presence of addiction services. Methods: A prospective chart review of pre-hospital advanced life support patients was performed on confirmed opioid overdose calls. Demographic, geographic, and clinical information, i.e. presentation, treatment, outcomes, was collected for each call. The Census data were used to calculate deprivation. Geographical information software mapped the urban deprivation and addiction services against the overdose locations. Results: There were 469 overdoses, 13 of which were fatal; most were male (80%), of a young age (32 years), with a high rate of repeated overdoses (26%), and common poly-drug use (9.6%). Majority occurred in daytime (275), on the streets (212). Overdoses were more likely in more affluent areas (r = .15, P < .05), and in a 1000 m radius of addiction services. Residential overdoses were in more deprived areas than street overdoses (mean difference 7.8, t(170) = 3.99, P < .001). Street overdoses were more common in the city centre than suburbs (χ2(1) = 33.04, P < 0.001). Conclusions: the identified clusters of increased incidence – urban overdose hotspots - suggest a link between environment characteristics and overdoses. This highlights a need to establish overdose education and naloxone distribution in the overdose hotspots.
      497Scopus© Citations 13