Considerations in providing shared-care psychological treatment for clients who have alcohol or other drug misuse problems

Erol Digiusto, Rowena Friend, Robert G. Batey, Richard P. Mattick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Many people who have alcohol or other drug (AOD) misuse problems also have comorbid psychosocial and behavioural problems such as depression, anxiety, unstable treatment motivation, sleep disorders, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suboptimal medication adherence. Agencies which provide treatment for such people commonly have limited resources for effectively addressing these problems. Methods A telephone survey of psychologists and clinical psychologists in 12 New South Wales (NSW) postcode areas was conducted to investigate attitudes towards providing treatment for AOD clients. Results The participation rate was 67%, and 61% of participants indicated they were "definitely" (52%) or "probably" (9%) interested in providing services for AOD clients. Thirty-nine per cent of interested participants indicated that they would always be willing to bulk-bill Medicare to cover services for AOD clients, and only 7% of interested psychologists indicated that they would never be willing. Almost two thirds of interested participants indicated a delay of no more than one week to see new clients. Conclusions It would be worthwhile and feasible for private-practice psychologists and clinical psychologists to develop shared-care arrangements with AOD treatment providers and other related health services. We believe they should endeavour to do so, and we offer suggestions to assist in addressing that goal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Psychologist
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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