Now showing 1 - 10 of 33
  • 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.
  • Publication
    What Are the Self-Assessed Training Needs of Early Career Professionals in Addiction Medicine? A BEME Focused Review
    (Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), 2020-04-03) ; ; ; ; ;
    Background: Substance use disorders represent a significant social and economic burden globally. Accurate diagnosis and treatment by early career professionals in addiction medicine (ECPAM) falls short, in part, due to a lack of training programmes targeting this career stage. Prior research has highlighted the need to assess the specific training needs of ECPAM. Therefore, this focused review assessed self-reported training needs of ECPAM. Methods: Medical and medical education databases (Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, ERIC, PSYCHInfo, BEI, and AEI) were searched to June 2018 for studies reporting self-reported training needs of ECPAM (trained at most five years before assessment occurred). Retrieved citations were screened for eligibility; two independent researchers reviewed included studies, assessed quality and extracted data. Experts reviewed study findings. Results: Of 1364 identified records, three cross-sectional studies were included, originating from China, USA and England. All studies surveyed ECPAM using self-reported questionnaires, with one study including face-to-face interviews. Participants included residents, physicians and social workers. All studies had a low risk of bias, and reported a wide range of training needs including rehabilitation, relapse prevention, buprenorphine treatment and risk assessment. Conclusions: There is little evidence for and substantial heterogeneity of training needs of ECPAM found in this review, particularly at the level of skills and knowledge. Study quality varies greatly. ECPAM training needs assessments are a priority.
  • Publication
    Better Addiction Medicine Education for Doctors and Allied Health Professions: A Toolkit
    (UCD School of Medicine, 2020-08) ;
    The report disseminates the outcomes and deliverables of a research project entitled: Better Addiction Medicine Education for Doctors and Allied Health Professions.
  • Publication
    Interventions to Optimise Mental Health Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review
    Adverse mental health has been a major consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This review examines interventions to enhance mental health outcomes and well-being of populations during COVID-19. Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL) were searched following Arskey and O’Malley’s six-staged scoping review process. Twenty studies were included in the review. Various study populations were included to ensure greater generalisability of results. Interventions informing treatment of mental health concerns during COVID-19 were included and classified into (a) prevention of poor mental health, (b) therapeutic interventions, and (c) other interventions. Preventative strategies (n = 16) included public health education, modified social media use, technology-based interventions, physical activity, policy adaptations, and therapeutic interventions. Treatment strategies (n = 7) included adapting existing treatment and the creation new treatment programmes and platforms. While current evidence is promising, future research should focus on novel effective interventions to address mental health issues during the pandemic.
      314Scopus© Citations 11
  • 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.
  • Publication
    Study Protocol: Prospective, observational, cohort study of COVID-19 in General Practice (North Dublin COVID-19 Cohort [‘ANTICIPATE’] Study)
    Background: It is accepted that COVID-19 will have considerable long-term consequences, especially on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Although the impacts on local communities have been immense, there remains little data on long term outcomes among patients with COVID-19 who were managed in general practice and primary care. This study seeks to address this knowledge gap by examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the medium and long-term health and wellbeing of patients attending general practice, especially their mental health and wellbeing. Methods: The study will be conducted at 12 general practices in the catchment area of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, i.e. the North Dublin area, an area which has experienced an especially high COVID-19 incidence. Practices will be recruited from the professional networks of the research team. A member of the general practice team will be asked to identify patients of the practice who attended the practice after 16/3/20 with a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Potential participants will be provided with information on the study by the clinical team. Data will be collected on those patients who consent to participate by means of an interviewer-administered questionnaire and review of clinical records. Data will be collected on health (especially mental health) and wellbeing, quality of life, health behaviours, health service utilisation, and wider impacts of COVID-19 at recruitment and at two follow up time points (6, 12 months). Deliverables: The project involves collaboration with Ireland’s Health Service Executive, Ireland East Hospital Group, and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin. The study is funded by the Health Research Board. Findings will inform health policies that attenuate the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on population mental health and health generally.
  • Publication
    The management of problem alcohol use among drug users in primary care : exploring patients’ experience of screening and treatment
    Problem alcohol use is common among drug using patients who attend GPs in Ireland (35%) and other European countries. It is associated with adverse health outcomes including physical, psychological and social implications. These include various forms of liver disease exacerbated by the high prevalence of Hepatitis C among IDUs (62-81% in Ireland), fatal/non-fatal opiate overdose, mood anxiety, personality disorders, poor emotional health and wellbeing, early cessation of drug treatment, poor treatment outcomes and an increase in anti-social behaviour. Evidence has demonstrated the role of primary care in screening and treatment for problem alcohol use and the importance of a stepped approach to alcohol treatment. This study examined patients’ experience of being screened and treated for problem alcohol use, the barriers and enablers to addressing these issues and their views on how these therapeutic interventions can be improved.
  • Publication
    Training needs, access to and contextual factors of addiction education in Europe: Towards a research agenda
    Drug and alcohol addiction cause a significant social and economic burden globally. Adequate diagnosis and treatment by general practitioners fails, in part due to a lack of knowledge and accredited training in addiction medicine. In Ireland, the training of general practitioners in identifying and treating addiction is lacking. Internationally, a number of initiatives to address this challenge have emerged. This study improves addiction education for doctors and allied health professionals and responds directly to the European Research Agency’s priorities “Excellent Science, Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing”, specifically “improve ability to monitor health and to prevent, detect, treat and manage disease”. To build on these initiatives, the goal of this project is to establish the feasibility and acceptability of training primary care practitioners in addiction medicine, and, in particular, how international models of addiction medicine training might inform the future development of general practice education in Ireland. Specifically, the ongoing study seeks to increase incorporation of new understandings about addictive disorders from multiple disciplines into undergraduate and postgraduate medical curricula. The three years of the project have yielded an array of scientific outputs, including a dozen peer-reviewed studies describing the project’s impacts. These publications indicate that addiction medicine education provides a range of benefits to the clinicians and the greater community, including increased knowledge of identification and treatment of substance use disorders as well as increased professional competency in addiction medicine. Studies were independently peer-reviewed and published in top scientific periodicals, including the Academic Medicine, and Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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.