What's in a rehab? Ethnographic evaluation research in Indigenous Australian residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres

Richard Chenhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Residential rehabilitation centres are a popular form of treatment for Indigenous Australians suffering from alcohol and drug misuse; however, there has been very little substantive research and evaluation in this area. Based on long-term ethnographic research, this study examines the informal aspects of a treatment programme in an Indigenous residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation service. Evaluation of such services often focuses on treatment length and/or treatment level obtained as key indicators of success. This study suggests that 'treatment' may be more complex and layered with multiple levels of meaning, which may not necessarily be captured in some evaluation designs. For the residential rehabilitation centre discussed in this paper, oscillating periods of mutual support and discipline have an important therapeutic function. Standard measures of treatment length and level obtained are meaningless without incorporating understanding of this process. This paper presents some of the ethnographic findings, alongside some of the evaluation implications of doing this kind of research. � 2008 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalAnthropology and Medicine
Volume15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'What's in a rehab? Ethnographic evaluation research in Indigenous Australian residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation centres'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this