Help-seeking by substance dependants presenting to healthcare professionals in the Free State Province

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dc.contributor.author Van Zyl, P.M.
dc.contributor.author Gagiono, C.A.
dc.contributor.author Mollentze, W.F.
dc.contributor.author Snyman, J.S.
dc.contributor.author Joubert, G.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-10T13:34:46Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-10T13:34:46Z
dc.date.issued 2012-08
dc.description.abstract INTRODUCTION: Current data regarding treatment needs in South Africa for substance dependence are based on admissions to specialised treatment centres. The data therefore do not include patients presenting to independent healthcare workers and state hospitals. AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate help-seeking behaviour for substance dependence disorders from the perspective of healthcare professionals at various levels of the referral chain in the Free State Province. DESIGN: A descriptive study was performed. SETTING: Treatment environments in the Free State Province accessible to substance-dependent persons served as the study setting. PARTICIPANTS: General practitioners, private psychiatrists, prescribing healthcare professionals at state hospitals and treatment centres, and non-prescribing therapists responsible for the management of substance-dependent persons, were considered for participation. MEASUREMENTS: A questionnaire was used to determine the level of help-seeking experienced by the participants regarding various classes of psycho-active substances. FINDINGS: The presentation of alcohol, cannabis, opioid, benzodiazepine, ecstasy, cocaine and inhalant dependency at general practitioners, private psychiatrists, treatment centres and non-prescribing therapists was compared. Different patterns of help-seeking for substance dependence from the various professional groups were detected. Regarding alcohol dependence, 40.3% of private general medical practitioners reported being confronted with alcohol dependence at least once per month, compared with 100% of treatment centre representatives and private psychiatrists, 70.6% of state hospitals and 53.8% of non-prescribers. State hospitals reported the highest frequency for contact with cases of cannabis dependence, compared with the other professional groups, while psychiatrists reported the highest contact with cases involving benzodiazepine, cocaine and ecstasy. Therapists reported a higher level of contact with inhalant dependence, while this group virtually never presented at general practitioners and private psychiatrists. CONCLUSION: Help-seeking data can be used in conjunction with other data, such as treatment demand data, to inform and adapt policies and practice. Variations in the manifestation of help-seeking behaviour at various groups may be important pointers to conditions that influence help-seeking, and should therefore be investigated further. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The Hendrik Vrouwes Trust and the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State.. en_US
dc.description.uri http://www.sajp.org.za/index.php/sajp en_US
dc.identifier.citation Van Zyl, PM, Gagiono, CA, Mollentze, WF, Snyman, JS & Joubert, G 2012, 'Help-seeking by substance dependants presenting to healthcare professionals in the Free State Province', South African Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 96-102. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1609-9685 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 2078-6786 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.7196/SAJP.352
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/20124
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Health and Medical Publishing Group en_US
dc.rights Health and Medical Publishing Group en_US
dc.subject Free State Province, South Africa en_US
dc.subject Substance dependants en_US
dc.subject Help-seeking behaviour en_US
dc.subject Healthcare professionals en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Substance abuse -- Treatment -- South Africa en
dc.title Help-seeking by substance dependants presenting to healthcare professionals in the Free State Province en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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