Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • 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
    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.
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  • Publication
    Commentary on Zeremski et al. (2016): Improvements in HCV-related Knowledge Among Substance Users on Opioid Agonist Therapy After an Educational Intervention
    Zeremski et al highlight how improving patients’ knowledge about Hepatitis C virus (HCV) care can enhance adherence to treatment plans and improved treatment outcomes (Zeremski et al. 2016). In this regard we believe that patients’ knowledge of HCV care can best be optimised through community based approaches to HCV treatment as supported by recent findings from Wade et al and Grebely et al (Wade et al. 2015, Grebely et al. 2016).
      175Scopus© Citations 1
  • 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.
      211Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Barriers to and Facilitators of Hepatitis C Testing, Management, and Treatment Among Current and Former Injecting Drug Users: A Qualitative Exploration
    Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is common among injecting drug users (IDUs), yet accessing of HCV care, particularly HCV treatment, is suboptimal. There has been little in-depth study of IDUs experiences of what enables or prevents them engaging at every level of HCV care, including testing, follow-up, management and treatment processes. This qualitative study aimed to explore these issues with current and former IDUs in the greater Dublin area, Ireland. From September 2007 to September 2008 in-depth interviews were conducted with 36 service-users across a range of primary and secondary care services, including: two addiction clinics, a general practice, a community drop-in center, two hepatology clinics, and an infectious diseases clinic. Interviews were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Barriers to HCV care included perceptions of HCV infection as relatively benign, fear of investigations and treatment, and feeling well. Perceptions were shaped by the discourse about HCV and "horror stories'' about the liver biopsy and treatment within their peer networks. Difficulties accessing HCV care included limited knowledge of testing sites, not being referred for specialist investigations and ineligibility for treatment. Employment, education, and addiction were priorities that competed with HCV care. Relationships with health care providers influenced engagement with care: Trust in providers, concern for the service-user, and continuity of care fostered engagement. Education on HCV infection, investigations, and treatment altered perceptions. Becoming symptomatic, responsibilities for children, and wanting to move on from drug use motivated HCV treatment. In conclusion, IDUs face multiple barriers to HCV care. A range of facilitators were identified that could inform future interventions.
      819Scopus© Citations 169
  • Publication
    Feasibility of alcohol screening among people receiving Opioid treatment in primary care
    Background: Identifying and treating problem alcohol use among people who also use illicit drugs is a challenge. Primary care is well placed to address this challenge but there are several barriers which may prevent this occurring. The objective of this study was to determine if a complex intervention designed to support screening and brief intervention for problem alcohol use among people receiving opioid agonist treatment is feasible and acceptable to healthcare providers and their patients in a primary care setting. Methods: A randomised, controlled, pre-and-post design measured feasibility and acceptability of alcohol screening based on recruitment and retention rates among patients and practices. Efficacy was measured by screening and brief intervention rates and the proportion of patients with problem alcohol use. Results: Of 149 practices that were invited, 19 (12.8 %) agreed to participate. At follow up, 13 (81.3 %) practices with 81 (62.8 %) patients were retained. Alcohol screening rates in the intervention group were higher at follow up than in the control group (53 % versus 26 %) as were brief intervention rates (47 % versus 19 %). Four (18 %) people reduced their problem drinking (measured by AUDIT-C), compared to two (7 %) in the control group. Conclusions: Alcohol screening among people receiving opioid agonist treatment in primary care seems feasible. A definitive trial is needed. Such a trial would require over sampling and greater support for participating practices to allow for challenges in recruitment of patients and practices.
      160Scopus© Citations 10