Expert consensus to examine the cross-cultural utility of substance use and mental health assessment instruments for use with Indigenous clients

Stephens, Anne, Bohanna, India, and Graham, Deborah (2017) Expert consensus to examine the cross-cultural utility of substance use and mental health assessment instruments for use with Indigenous clients. Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 17 (3). pp. 14-22.

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Abstract

Evaluation of minority-culture specific treatment centres for substance use and mental health is challenging. The challenge is compounded by a paucity of validated instruments for assessing substance use and mental ill health. In the field of Australian Indigenous Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) service provision there are few guidelines to determine which instruments should be targets for validation for use with Indigenous clients. As such, reliable, validated evaluable data on the client population is limited, posing multifaceted concerns for clinicians and service providers as well as evaluators. The aim of this study was to pilot the use of a participatory expert consensus approach to evaluate, rate and select suitable majority-culture substance use and mental health assessment instruments for use with their clients. Eight practitioners of an Indigenous-specific substance misuse residential treatment centre participated. The findings reinforce the value of consensus approaches for stakeholder engagement and sense of ownership of the results. In this setting, consensus on the implementation of an agreed set of Indigenous-specific and non-Indigenous specific instruments improved the ownership of the instruments by clinicians allowing for the use of valid and/or reliable instruments that also had good face validity. This makes it more probable that reliable collections of client wellbeing data will be collected. This is crucial to program evaluation at a later point in time. This study was a novel approach to generating evidence to inform practice in the absence of normative practice guidelines.

Item ID: 49994
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1035-719X
Keywords: Indigenous health, substance use, mental health, assessment, evaluability
Funders: Queensland Drug and Alcohol Council, Northern Research Futures Collaborative Research Network (CRN), Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: CRN post-doctoral research funding, NHMRC Early Career Fellowship
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2017 00:20
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920203 Diagnostic Methods @ 40%
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