The effectiveness of a hospital-based intervention for patients with substance-use problems in the Western Cape
District hospitals regularly experience a high incidence of substance use disorders, but rarely provide interventions. We describe the effectiveness of an intervention developed and implemented by a Western Cape hospital. Patients with probable substance use were referred to an on-site social worker for an alcohol, smoking and substance involvement screening test (ASSIST), a brief motivational intervention and referral to specialist care. At the 3-month follow-up, the ASSIST was re-administered telephonically. An intervention was received by 127 patients. A significant reduction in substance use was reported in 92 patients who completed a 3-month follow-up evaluation (p<0.001). Of the 60 patients referred to further care, half entered treatment. We conclude that, with minimal resourcing, it is feasible to administer a brief substance use intervention for patients attending district hospitals.
Katherine Sorsdahl, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town
Dan J Stein, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town
Lize Weich, Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch
David Fourie, South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA)
Bronwyn Myers, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Unit, Medical Research Council of South Africa
Substance use; Intervention
Cite this article
South African Medical Journal 2012;102(7):634-635.
Date submitted: 2012-02-19
Date published: 2012-06-06
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