Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • Publication
    Psychosocial Interventions for Alcohol use among problem drug users (PINTA) : protocol for a feasibility study in primary care
    Background: Alcohol use is an important issue among problem drug users. Although screening and brief intervention are effective in reducing problem alcohol use in primary care, no research has examined this issue among problem drug users. Objectives: To determine if a complex intervention, incorporating screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol use among problem drug users, is feasible and acceptable in practice and effective in reducing the proportion of patients with problem alcohol use. Methods: PINTA is a pilot feasibility study of a complex intervention comprising screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol use among problem drug users with cluster randomisation at the level of general practice, integrated qualitative process evaluation, and involving general practices in two socioeconomically deprived regions. Participants: Practices (N=16) will be eligible to participate if they are registered to prescribe methadone and/or at least 10 patients of the practice are currently receiving addiction-treatment. Patient inclusion criteria are: aged 18 or over and receiving addiction treatment / care (e.g.methadone) or known to be a problem drug user. Interventions: A complex intervention, supporting screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol use among problem drug users (experimental group) compared to an 'assessment only' control group. A delayed intervention being available to 'control' practices after follow up. Outcome: Primary outcomes are feasibility and acceptability of the intervention to patients andprofessionals. Secondary outcome is the effectiveness of the intervention on care process (documented rates of screening and brief intervention) and outcome (proportion of patients with problem alcohol use at the follow up). Randomisation: Stratified random sampling of general practices based on level of training in providing addiction-related care and geographical area. Blinding: Single-blinded; GPs and practice staff, researchers and trainers will not be blinded, but patients and remote randomisers will. Discussion: This is the first study to examine feasibility and acceptability of primary care based complex intervention to enhance alcohol screening and brief intervention among problem drug users. Results will inform future research among this high-risk population and guide policy and service development locally and internationally.
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  • Publication
    Problem alcohol use among problem drug users : development of clinical guidelines for general practice
    Introduction: Problem alcohol use is common and associated with considerable adverse health and social outcomes among patients who attend GPs in Ireland and other European countries for opioid substitution treatment. This paper aims to describe the development and content of clinical guidelines for the management of problem alcohol use among current or former opioid users attending general practice for methadone treatment. Methods: The guidelines were developed in several stages: i) identification of key stakeholders; ii) development of evidence-based draft guidelines, and iii)determination of a modified ‘Delphi-facilitated’ consensus among the group members. These guidelines were informed by a review of scientific evidence and a qualitative study, results of which will be presented also at this conference. Results: The guidelines incorporate advice for GPs on all aspects of care of this problem, including i) definition of problem alcohol use among problem drug users, ii) screening / identification of problem alcohol use, iii) interventions for treatment and management of problem alcohol use, iv) referral to secondary services and v) role of GPs in the management of persistent problem alcohol use and on-going care. Conclusions: General practice has an important role to play in the care of problem alcohol use among problem drug users, especially patients who attend for methadone treatment. Further research on strategies to inform the implementation of this study is a priority.
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  • Publication
    Psychosocial interventions for problem alcohol use in illicit drug users (Protocol)
    This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:To determine the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions targeting problem alcohol use versus other treatments in illicit drug users.
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  • 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 in 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 (November 2011), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library, Issue 11, November 2011), PUBMED (1966 to 2011); EMBASE (1974 to 2011); CINAHL (1982 to 2011); PsycINFO (1872 to 2011) and reference list of articles. We also searched: 1) conference proceedings (online archives only) of the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA), International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA), International Conference on Alcohol Harm Reduction (ICAHR), and American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD); 2) online registers of clinical trials, Current Controlled Trials (CCT), Clinical Trials.org, Center Watch and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).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: Two review authors independently assessed risk of bias and extracted data from included trials.Main results: Four studies, 594 participants, were included. Half of the trials were rated as having high or unclear risk of bias. They considered six different psychosocial interventions grouped into four comparisons: (1) cognitive-behavioural coping skills training versus 12-step facilitation (N = 41), (2) brief intervention versus treatment as usual (N = 110), (3) hepatitis health promotion versus motivational interviewing (N = 256), and (4) brief motivational intervention versus assessment-only group (N = 187). Differences between studies precluded any pooling of data. Findings are described for each trial individually:comparison 1: no significant difference; comparison 2: higher rates of decreased alcohol use at three months (risk ratio (RR) 0.32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.19 to 0.54) and nine months (RR 0.16; 95% CI 0.08 to 0.33) in the treatment as usual group; comparison 3 (group and individual format): no significant difference; comparison 4: more people reduced alcohol use (by seven or more days in the past 30 days at 6 months) in the brief motivational intervention compared to controls (RR 1.67; 95% CI 1.08 to 2.60).Authors' conclusions: Very little evidence exists that there is no difference in the effectiveness between different types of interventions and that brief interventions are not superior to assessment only or treatment as usual. No conclusion can be made because of the paucity of the data and the low quality of the retrieved studies.
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  • Publication
    Psychosocial Interventions for Problem Alcohol Use in Primary Care Settings (PINTA): Baseline Feasibility Data
    Objective: Many individuals receiving methadone maintenance receive their treatment through their primary care provider. As many also drink alcohol excessively, there is a need to address alcohol use to improve health outcomes for these individuals. We examined problem alcohol use and its treatment among people attending primary care for methadone maintenance treatment, using baseline data from a feasibility study of an evidence-based complex intervention to improve care. Methods: Data on addiction care processes were collected by (1) reviewing clinical records (n = 129) of people who attended 16 general practices for methadone maintenance treatment and (2) administering structured questionnaires to both patients (n = 106) and general practitioners (GPs) (n = 15). Results: Clinical records indicated that 24 patients (19%) were screened for problem alcohol use in the 12 months prior to data collection, with problem alcohol use identified in 14 (58% of those screened, 11% of the full sample). Of those who had positive screening results for problem alcohol use, five received a brief intervention by a GP and none were referred to specialist treatment. Scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) revealed the prevalence of hazardous, harmful, and dependent drinking to be 25% (n = 26), 6% (n = 6), and 16% (n = 17), respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for the proportion of patients with negative AUDITs was 0.038 (SE = 0.01). The ICCs for screening, brief intervention, and/or referral to treatment (SBIRT) were 0.16 (SE = 0.014), −0.06 (SE = 0.017), and 0.22 (SE = 0.026), respectively. Only 12 (11.3%) AUDIT questionnaires concurred with corresponding clinical records that a patient had any/no problem alcohol use. Regular use of primary care was evident, as 25% had visited their GP more than 12 times during the past 3 months. Conclusions: Comparing clinical records with patients’ experience of SBIRT can shed light on the process of care. Alcohol screening in people who attend primary care for substance use treatment is not routinely conducted. Interventions that enhance the care of problem alcohol use among this high-risk group are a priority.
    Scopus© Citations 10  537
  • 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
    Scopus© Citations 34  541
  • Publication
    Primary care and youth mental health in Ireland: Qualitative study in deprived urban areas
    Background: Mental disorders account for six of the 20 leading causes of disability worldwide with a very high prevalence of psychiatric morbidity in youth aged 15-24 years. However, healthcare professionals are faced with many challenges in the identification and treatment of mental and substance use disorders in young people (e.g. young people's unwillingness to seek help from healthcare professionals, lack of training, limited resources etc.) The challenge of youth mental health for primary care is especially evident in urban deprived areas, where rates of and risk factors for mental health problems are especially common. There is an emerging consensus that primary care is well placed to address mental and substance use disorders in young people especially in deprived urban areas. This study aims to describe healthcare professionals' experience and attitudes towards screening and early intervention for mental and substance use disorders among young people (16-25 years) in primary care in deprived urban settings in Ireland. Methods. The chosen method for this qualitative study was inductive thematic analysis which involved semi-structured interviews with 37 healthcare professionals from primary care, secondary care and community agencies at two deprived urban centres. Results: We identified three themes in respect of interventions to increase screening and treatment: (1) Identification is optimised by a range of strategies, including raising awareness, training, more systematic and formalised assessment, and youth-friendly practices (e.g. communication skills, ensuring confidentiality); (2) Treatment is enhanced by closer inter-agency collaboration and training for all healthcare professionals working in primary care; (3) Ongoing engagement is enhanced by motivational work with young people, setting achievable treatment goals, supporting transition between child and adult mental health services and recognising primary care's longitudinal nature as a key asset in promoting treatment engagement. Conclusions: Especially in deprived areas, primary care is central to early intervention for youth mental health. Identification, treatment and continuing engagement are likely to be enhanced by a range of strategies with young people, healthcare professionals and systems. Further research on youth mental health and primary care, including qualitative accounts of young people's experience and developing complex interventions that promote early intervention are priorities.
    Scopus© Citations 15  255
  • Publication
    Community first responders for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in adults and children
    Background: Mobilization of community first responders (CFRs) to the scene of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) event has been proposed as a means of shortening the interval from occurrence of cardiac arrest to performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation, thereby increasing patient survival. Objectives: To assess the effect of mobilizing community first responders (CFRs) to out-of-hospital cardiac arrest events in adults and children older than four weeks of age, in terms of survival and neurological function. Search methods We searched the following databases for relevant trials in January 2019: CENTRAL, MEDLINE (Ovid SP), Embase (Ovid SP), and Web of Science. We also searched the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) and ClinicalTrials.gov, and we scanned the abstracts of conference proceedings of the American Heart Association and the European Resuscitation Council. Selection criteria We included randomized and quasi-randomized trials (RCTs and q-RCTs) that compared routine emergency medical services (EMS) care versus EMS care plus mobilization of CFRs in instances of OHCA.Trials with randomization by cluster were eligible for inclusion, including cluster-design studies with intervention cross-over. In some communities, the statutory ambulance service/EMS is routinely provided by the local fire service. For the purposes of this review, this group represents the statutory ambulance service/EMS, as distinct from CFRs, and was not included as an eligible intervention. We did not include studies primarily focused on opportunistic bystanders. Individuals who were present at the scene of an OHCA event and who performed CPR according to telephone instruction provided by EMS call takers were not considered to be CFRs. Studies primarily assessing the impact of specific additional interventions such as administration of naloxone in narcotic overdose or adrenaline in anaphylaxis were also excluded. We included adults and children older than four weeks of age who had experienced an OHCA. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently reviewed all titles and abstracts received to assess potential eligibility, using set inclusion criteria. We obtained and examined in detail full-text copies of all papers considered potentially eligible, and we approached authors of trials for additional information when necessary. We summarized the process of study selection in a PRISMA flowchart. Three review authors independently extracted relevant data using a standard data extraction form and assessed the validity of each included trial using the Cochrane ’Risk of bias’ tool. We resolved disagreements by discussion and consensus. We synthesized findings in narrative fashion due to the heterogeneity of the included studies. We used the principles of the GRADE system to assess the certainty of the body of evidence associated with specific outcomes and to construct a ’Summary of findings’ table. Main results: We found two completed studies involving a total of 1136 participants that ultimately met our inclusion criteria. We also found one ongoing study and one planned study. We noted significant heterogeneity in the characteristics of interventions and outcomes measured or reported across these studies, thus we could not pool study results. One completed study considered the dispatch of police and fire service CFRs equipped with automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in an EMS system in Amsterdam and surrounding areas. This study was an RCT with allocation made by cluster according to non-overlapping geographical regions. It was conducted between 5 January 2000 and 5 January 2002. All participants were 18 years of age or older and had experienced witnessed OHCA. The study found no difference in survival at hospital discharge (odds ratio (OR) 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8 to 2.2; 1 RCT; 469 participants; low-certainty evidence), despite the observation that all 72 incidences of defibrillation performed before EMS arrival occurred in the intervention group (OR and 95% CI-not applicable; 1 RCT; 469 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). This study reported increased survival to hospital admission in the intervention group (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.0; 1 RCT; 469 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). The second completed study considered the dispatch of nearby lay volunteers in Stockholm, Sweden, who were trained to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This represented a supplementary CFR intervention in an EMS system where police and fire services were already routinely dispatched to OHCA in addition to EMS ambulances. This study, an RCT, included both witnessed and unwitnessed OHCA and was conducted between 1 April 2012 and 1 December 2013. Participants included adults and children eight years of age and older. Researchers found no difference in 30-day survival (OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.79 to 2.29; 1 RCT; 612 participants; low-certainty evidence), despite a significant increase in CPR performed before EMS arrival (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.03; 1 RCT; 665 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Neither of the included completed studies considered neurological function at hospital discharge or at 30 days, measured by cerebral performance category or by any other means. Neither of the included completed studies considered health-related quality of life. The overall certainty of evidence for the outcomes of included studies was low to moderate. Authors’ conclusions Moderate-certainty evidence shows that context-specific CFR interventions result in increased rates of CPR or defibrillation performed before EMS arrival. It remains uncertain whether this can translate to significantly increased rates of overall patient survival. When possible, further high-quality RCTs that are adequately powered to measure changes in survival should be conducted. The included studies did not consider survival with good neurological function. This outcome is likely to be important to patients and should be included routinely wherever survival is measured. We identified one ongoing study and one planned trial whose results once available may change the results of this review. As this review was limited to randomized and quasi-randomized trials, we may have missed some important data from other study types.
    Scopus© Citations 4  235
  • 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).
    Scopus© Citations 5  407