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Keywords:

  • alcohol;
  • drug;
  • primary health care;
  • attitude;
  • stigmatisation

Abstract

Introduction and Aims. To explore the association between primary care professionals' (PCPs) attitudes towards unhealthy alcohol and other drug (AOD) use (from risky use through dependence) and readiness to implement AOD-related preventive care. Design and Methods. Primary care professionals from five health centres in Sao Paulo were invited to complete a questionnaire about preventive care and attitudes about people with unhealthy AOD use. Logistic regression models tested the association between professional satisfaction and readiness. Multiple Correspondence Analysis assessed associations between stigmatising attitudes and readiness. Results. Of 160 PCPs surveyed, 96 (60%) completed the questionnaire. Only 25% reported implementing unhealthy AOD use clinical prevention practices; and 53% did not feel ready to implement such practices. Greater satisfaction when working with people with AOD problems was significantly associated with readiness to implement AOD-related preventive care. In Multiple Correspondence Analysis two groups emerged: (i) PCPs ready to work with people with unhealthy AOD use, who attributed to such patients lower levels of dangerousness, blame for their condition and need for segregation from the community (suggesting less stigmatising attitudes); and (ii) PCPs not ready to work with people with unhealthy AOD use, who attributed to them higher levels of dangerousness, blame, perceived level of patient control over their condition and segregation (suggesting more stigmatising attitudes). Discussion and Conclusions. More stigmatising attitudes towards people with unhealthy AOD use are associated with less readiness to implement unhealthy AOD-related preventive care. Understanding these issues is likely essential to facilitating implementation of preventive care, such as screening and brief intervention, for unhealthy AOD use. [Amaral-Sabadini MB, Saitz R, Souza-Formigoni MLO. Do attitudes about unhealthy alcohol and other drug (AOD) use impact primary care professionals' readiness to implement AOD-related preventive care? Drug Alcohol Rev 2010;29;655–661]