The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

5159.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 3:20 PM

Abstract #71885

Screening for substance abuse and HIV risk factors in South African primary health clinics

Constance Weisner, DrPH, MSW1, Catherine L. Ward, PhD2, Alan J Flisher, PhD2, Graham Bressick, MD3, Stacy Sterling, MPH, MSW4, and Jennifer Mertens, MA5. (1) Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, 401 Parnassus, San Francisco, CA 94143-0984, (2) Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, Western Cape Province, South Africa, (3) Department of Public Health & Primary Health Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Anzio Road, Observatory 7925, CapeTown, South Africa, (4) Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612-2304, (5) Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, 2000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, 510-891-3570,

The prevalence of alcohol and drug problems is high in the U.S., and in developing countries, but such problems are often undetected until they have resulted in many other health and social problems. Specialty substance abuse agencies have a limited capacity for treating the large numbers of people with problems, and it seems most feasible to treat individuals at the institutions, such as primary care clinics, where they naturally present. This paper describes a study in four primary care clinics in Cape Town, South Africa. As part of NIDA’s Southern Africa Initiative, the study includes developing a culturally-relevant instrument for screening for problematic drinking, drug use, and HIV risk factors in South African health centers, developing a workable protocol for conducting screening in busy clinics, and conducting a pilot test. We present findings from our pilot study. The larger study will assess the prevalence of each problem area among a population base of primary health center patients and by gender, age, and ethnicity, and examine presenting problems associated with substance use in the health centers. The study focuses on increasing the awareness and skills of doctors and nurses, learning how to best provide training to them on screening instruments and interventions within the busy clinic environment. It will contribute to understanding the prevalence and co-occurrence of alcohol and drug use and related problems, and how they are best addressed within the context of primary health care services.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Substance Abuse Assessment, Primary Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Adverse Behaviors and Consequences Paralleling the United States and Southern Africa: Healthy Lifestyles for Living

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA