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  • 1 May 2018 to 31 January 2019
  • Project No: 406
  • Funding round: FR 15

Paula Alves, Fiona Stevenson, Sophie Mylan, Chris Ford, Adam Winstock

In 2016 a report from the NHS indicated that 1 in 12 people aged between 16 and 59 living in England and Wales have used at least one illicit substance. Substance use represents a major public health concern in the UK affecting the health and well-being of individuals, their families and communities. Primary care is an ideal setting to identify and manage substance use, within the context of a complete health assessment and care plan. Primary care facilitates access to patients seeking treatment for physical and mental health problems that may, or may not, be related to their substance use. Also, it provides patients with the opportunity to receive treatment in a potentially less stigmatising environment than specialist services. Clinical guidelines and research about treatment of substance use disorders tend to overlook patients’ perspectives. In research conducted in specialist services, patients have reported that clinicians have no idea about their experiences, crucially leading to patients and clinicians having different views about what recovery means. Consequently, treatment provision may not match patient preferences. There is limited research on patients’ experiences of substance use treatment in primary care. This project aims to understand those experiences through interviewing patients receiving treatment in primary care and asking them what has been helpful and unhelpful in their consultations to manage substance use. This study aims to inform health professionals about what makes substance use treatment in primary care successful and unsuccessful, from the patient perspective, helping them to provide treatment that takes patients’ needs on board. 

Amount awarded: £44,458.15