Publications by authors named "Gail Gilchrist"

56 Publications

Parental status and characteristics of women in substance use treatment services: Analysis of electronic patient records.

J Subst Abuse Treat 2021 Aug 16;127:108365. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.

Background: Many women receiving substance use treatment services are mothers. Despite this, research has not proved whether substance use treatment services are addressing the specific needs of mothers. This study explored differences in sociodemographic, psychological, patterns of substance use, and treatment characteristics between mothers and women without children, and between mothers whose children were in alternative care.

Method: The study extracted data from electronic patient records (EPRs) of women who attended South London and Maudsley (SLaM) National Health Services (NHS) Foundation Trust addiction services between 2013 and 2020 (N = 4370).

Results: The study identified 1730 participants (39.6%) as mothers, of whom 1340 (77.4%) had dependent children. The average number of births was 1.83 (SD = 1.0). Of the participants, 54.3% of mothers did not disclose whether their dependent child(ren) was under their care and 37.5% of mothers indicated that at least one of their child(ren) was in alternative care. Alcohol was the most reported type of substance used in the past 28 days. Mothers also highly reported suicide attempts and hospitalization due to mental health problems. Compared to women without children, mothers were more likely to be young, experience housing problems, use opioids and/or crack-cocaine in the past 28 days and experience lifetime domestic violence victimizations. Mothers were also less likely to have alcohol-related problems, experience overdose, and social isolation than women without children.

Conclusion: The study highlights the need for substance use services to invest in approaches to improve mothers' disclosure of parenting and childcare issues. It also demonstrates that EPRs can identify key characteristics of mothers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108365DOI Listing
August 2021

ADVANCE integrated group intervention to address both substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration by men in substance use treatment: a feasibility randomised controlled trial.

BMC Public Health 2021 05 25;21(1):980. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: Substance use is a risk factor for intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. Delivering perpetrator interventions concurrently with substance use treatment shows promise.

Methods: The feasibility of conducting an efficacy and cost-effectiveness trial of the ADVANCE 16-week intervention to reduce IPA by men in substance use treatment was explored. A multicentre, parallel group individually randomised controlled feasibility trial and formative evaluation was conducted. Over three temporal cycles, 104 men who had perpetrated IPA towards a female (ex) partner in the past year were randomly allocated to receive the ADVANCE intervention + substance use treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 54) or TAU only (n = 50) and assessed 16-weeks post-randomisation. Participants' (ex) partners were offered support and 27 provided outcome data. Thirty-one staff and 12 men who attended the intervention participated in focus groups or interviews that were analysed using the framework approach. Pre-specified criteria assessed the feasibility of progression to a definitive trial: 1) ≥ 60% of eligible male participants recruited; 2) intervention acceptable to staff and male participants; 3) ≥ 70% of participants followed-up and 4) levels of substance use and 5) IPA perpetrated by men in the intervention arm did not increase from average baseline level at 16-weeks post-randomisation.

Results: 70.7% (104/147) of eligible men were recruited. The formative evaluation confirmed the intervention's acceptability. Therapeutic alliance and session satisfaction were rated highly. The overall median rate of intervention session attendance (of 14 compulsory sessions) was 28.6% (range 14.3-64.3% by the third cycle). 49.0% (51/104) of men and 63.0% (17/27) of their (ex) partners were followed-up 16-weeks post-randomisation. This increased to 100% of men and women by cycle three. At follow-up, neither substance use nor IPA perpetration had worsened for men in the intervention arm.

Conclusions: It was feasible to deliver the ADVANCE intervention in substance use treatment services, although it proved difficult to collect data from female (ex)partners. While some progression criteria were met, others were not, although improvements were demonstrated by the third cycle. Lessons learned will be implemented into the study design for a definitive trial of the ADVANCE intervention.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN79435190 prospectively registered 22nd May 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11012-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147906PMC
May 2021

Comparing Transgender and Cisgender Experiences of Being Taken Advantage of Sexually While Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Other Drugs.

J Sex Res 2021 Apr 28:1-6. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care, University College London.

A small body of literature suggests that transgender people are more frequently exposed to sexual violence while they are under the influence of alcohol than cisgender counterparts. The goal of this study was to report any differences between transgender (n = 1,136) and cisgender (n = 74,277) respondents to the Global Drug Survey on their experiences of being taken advantage of sexually while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs. We found that transgender people were more likely than cisgender people to have experienced being taken advantage of in the last year (9.3% vs 4.2%) and more than 12 months preceding the survey (24.9% vs 14.3%). Non-binary participants were more likely than binary transgender participants (27.7% vs 17.8%) to report being taken advantage of sexually more than a year preceding the survey. Similarly, trans respondents assigned female at birth were more likely than trans respondents assigned male at birth to report this (30.0% vs 19.7%). Nonspecialist services for survivors of sexual violence should be adequately prepared for and accommodating toward transgender clients. Future research should explore their unique needs. Moreover, clinicians who assess transgender people should remain mindful of their increased likelihood of being taken advantage of sexually while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs and consider trauma-informed interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2021.1912692DOI Listing
April 2021

Perspectives on Motivation and Change in an Intervention for Men Who Use Substances and Perpetrate Intimate Partner Abuse: Findings From a Qualitative Evaluation of the Advance Intervention.

J Interpers Violence 2021 Mar 9:886260521997436. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

King's College London, UK.

Despite consistent evidence that substance use is a contributory risk factor for perpetration of intimate partner abuse (IPA), little evidence exists for effective interventions for male IPA perpetrators who use substances. The Advance intervention aimed to meet this need. This 16-week intervention addressed both IPA and substance use, and was for men accessing substance use treatment who had perpetrated IPA toward a female (ex-)partner within the last 12 months. Two key theories underpinned the intervention: goal theory and self-regulation theory. In this article, we aim to illustrate the views of men and substance use treatment staff on men's motivations to change, the ways in which men and staff said that men had changed their behavior, and the aspects of the intervention that they reported were key in the process of change. Using framework analysis, we analyzed data from 12 men who took part in the intervention as well as 31 staff members from substance use treatment services. Our five overarching themes were personal goal setting and motivation; recognition of IPA and the substance using lifestyle; improved self-regulation; considering the impact on others; and learning together in a group. Men and staff valued having a program that integrated IPA and substance use and thought the program was unique and much needed. Moreover, our findings suggest that goal theory, self-regulation, and more broadly, motivational and strengths-based approaches with practice-based activities, may be beneficial for effecting change in the substance using perpetrator population. However, further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Overall, our findings highlight the value of using qualitative outcome measures of perpetrator programs to complement quantitative measures of impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260521997436DOI Listing
March 2021

The Challenges of Conducting Qualitative Research on "couples" in Abusive Intimate Partner Relationships Involving Substance Use.

Qual Health Res 2021 03 8;31(4):767-777. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Undertaking qualitative dyad or couple interviews involving intimate partner abuse and substance use presents considerable ethical, safeguarding, and theoretical challenges throughout the research process from recruitment to conducting interviews and analysis. These challenges and how they were managed are outlined using the experience from a qualitative study of 14 heterosexual "couples" that explored the complex interplay between intimate partner abuse and substance use. Managing these challenges for participants, their families, and researchers included the use of safeguarding protocols and procedures to manage risk and the provision of clinical support for experienced researchers. Researchers often felt drawn into the conflicts and complex dynamics of opposing accounts from the male and females' relationship which could be emotionally and methodologically taxing. Researchers discussing their analysis and felt experiences with each other provided a reflexive space to manage emotions and stay close to the theoretical underpinnings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049732320975722DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885088PMC
March 2021

Prevalence and correlates of substance use among transgender adults: A systematic review.

Addict Behav 2020 12 9;111:106544. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, Addictions Sciences Building, 4 Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8BB England, UK. Electronic address:

Introduction: Minority stress theories suggest that high rates of discrimination experienced by transgender people are precipitants of substance use. This risk is likely exacerbated by an inadequate provision of trans-inclusive substance misuse services. However, the exclusion of transgender people from the general substance misuse literature makes it difficult to determine the extent to which transgender status influences substance use. A systematic review was undertaken to better understand the prevalence, patterns and correlates of substance use among this group.

Methods: In accordance with the PRISMA guidance, a literature search was conducted to 29th May 2019 on PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and Global Health databases. Primary quantitative studies, published in English, that reported the prevalence, patterns or correlates of substance use by transgender people were included, with no restriction on methodological design.

Results: 653 unique records were identified, and 41 studies were included. Half the studies reported on both transgender men and transgender women and half transgender women only. There was high and excess prevalence of substance use among transgender compared with cisgender people, but insufficient evidence to estimate prevalence or quantify the risk for substance use. Correlates of substance use included transphobic discrimination or violence, unemployment and sex work, gender dysphoria, high visual gender non-conformity and intersectional sexual minority status.

Conclusions: The sparse findings lend support to the minority stress model. However, the overreliance of the literature on disproportionate investigation of transgender women with multiple intersectional disadvantages, means there are significant gaps regarding the wider transgender community. To ensure substance use treatment services are inclusive, gender identity should be recorded and targeted interventions available. Clinicians should be aware of the multiple, complex drivers of substance use and be prepared to ask about substance use and offer support. Given the high prevalence of trauma experienced by transgender people, trauma-informed psychosocial interventions may be useful in the management of problematic substance use in transgender adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106544DOI Listing
December 2020

Psychological therapies for women who experience intimate partner violence.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020 07 1;7:CD013017. Epub 2020 Jul 1.

Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is prevalent and strongly associated with mental health problems. Women experiencing IPV attend health services frequently for mental health problems. The World Health Organization recommends that women who have experienced IPV and have a mental health diagnosis should receive evidence-based mental health treatments. However, it is not known if psychological therapies work for women in the context of IPV and whether they cause harm.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of psychological therapies for women who experience IPV on the primary outcomes of depression, self-efficacy and an indicator of harm (dropouts) at six- to 12-months' follow-up, and on secondary outcomes of other mental health symptoms, anxiety, quality of life, re-exposure to IPV, safety planning and behaviours, use of healthcare and IPV services, and social support.

Search Methods: We searched the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Controlled Trials Register (CCMDCTR), CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and three other databases, to the end of October 2019. We also searched international trials registries to identify unpublished or ongoing trials and handsearched selected journals, reference lists of included trials and grey literature.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs, cluster-RCTs and cross-over trials of psychological therapies with women aged 16 years and older who self-reported recent or lifetime experience of IPV. We included trials if women also experienced co-existing mental health diagnoses or substance abuse issues, or both. Psychological therapies included a wide range of interventions that targeted cognition, motivation and behaviour compared with usual care, no treatment, delayed or minimal interventions. We classified psychological therapies according to Cochrane Common Mental Disorders's psychological therapies list.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors extracted data and undertook 'Risk of Bias' assessment. Treatment effects were compared between experimental and comparator interventions at short-term (up to six months post-baseline), medium-term (six to under 12 months, primary outcome time point), and long-term follow-up (12 months and above). We used standardised mean difference (SMD) for continuous and odds ratio (OR) for dichotomous outcomes, and used random-effects meta-analysis, due to high heterogeneity across trials.

Main Results: We included 33 psychological trials involving 5517 women randomly assigned to experimental (2798 women, 51%) and comparator interventions (2719 women, 49%). Psychological therapies included 11 integrative therapies, nine humanistic therapies, six cognitive behavioural therapy, four third-wave cognitive behavioural therapies and three other psychologically-orientated interventions. There were no trials classified as psychodynamic therapies. Most trials were from high-income countries (19 in USA, three in Iran, two each in Australia and Greece, and one trial each in China, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain and UK), among women recruited from healthcare, community, shelter or refuge settings, or a combination of any or all of these. Psychological therapies were mostly delivered face-to-face (28 trials), but varied by length of treatment (two to 50 sessions) and staff delivering therapies (social workers, nurses, psychologists, community health workers, family doctors, researchers). The average sample size was 82 women (14 to 479), aged 37 years on average, and 66% were unemployed. Half of the women were married or living with a partner and just over half of the participants had experienced IPV in the last 12 months (17 trials), 6% in the past two years (two trials) and 42% during their lifetime (14 trials). Whilst 20 trials (61%) described reliable low-risk random-sampling strategies, only 12 trials (36%) described reliable procedures to conceal the allocation of participant status. While 19 trials measured women's depression, only four trials measured depression as a continuous outcome at medium-term follow-up. These showed a probable beneficial effect of psychological therapies in reducing depression (SMD -0.24, 95% CI -0.47 to -0.01; four trials, 600 women; moderate-certainty evidence). However, for self-efficacy, there may be no evidence of a difference between groups (SMD -0.12, 95% CI -0.33 to 0.09; one trial with medium-term follow-up data, 346 women; low-certainty evidence). Further, there may be no difference between the number of women who dropped out from the experimental or comparator intervention groups, an indicator of no harm (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.44; five trials with medium-term follow-up data, 840 women; low-certainty evidence). Although no trials reported adverse events from psychological therapies or participation in the trial, only one trial measured harm outcomes using a validated scale. For secondary outcomes, trials measured anxiety only at short-term follow-up, showing that psychological therapies may reduce anxiety symptoms (SMD -0.96, 95% CI -1.29 to -0.63; four trials, 158 women; low-certainty evidence). However, within medium-term follow-up, low-certainty evidence revealed that there may be no evidence between groups for the outcomes safety planning (SMD 0.04, 95% CI -0.18 to 0.25; one trial, 337 women), post-traumatic stress disorder (SMD -0.24, 95% CI -0.54 to 0.06; four trials, 484 women) or re-exposure to any form of IPV (SMD 0.03, 95% CI -0.14 to 0.2; two trials, 547 women).

Authors' Conclusions: There is evidence that for women who experience IPV, psychological therapies probably reduce depression and may reduce anxiety. However, we are uncertain whether psychological therapies improve other outcomes (self-efficacy, post-traumatic stress disorder, re-exposure to IPV, safety planning) and there are limited data on harm. Thus, while psychological therapies probably improve emotional health, it is unclear if women's ongoing needs for safety, support and holistic healing from complex trauma are addressed by this approach. There is a need for more interventions focused on trauma approaches and more rigorous trials (with consistent outcomes at similar follow-up time points), as we were unable to synthesise much of the research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013017.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7390063PMC
July 2020

A study protocol to assess the feasibility of conducting an evaluation trial of the ADVANCE integrated intervention to address both substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration to men in substance use treatment.

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2020 11;6:62. Epub 2020 May 11.

9School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, 8-9 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh, 8HQ 9NW UK.

Background: Strong evidence exists that substance use is a contributory risk factor for intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. Men in substance use treatment are more likely to perpetrate IPA than men from the general population. Despite this, referral pathways are lacking for this group. This trial will assess the feasibility of conducting an evaluation trial of a tailored integrated intervention to address substance use and IPA perpetration to men in substance use treatment.

Methods/design: ADVANCE is a multicentre, parallel-group individually randomised controlled feasibility trial, with a nested formative evaluation, comparing an integrated intervention to reduce IPA + substance use treatment as usual (TAU) to TAU only. One hundred and eight men who have perpetrated IPA in the past 12 months from community substance use treatment in London, the West Midlands, and the South West will be recruited. ADVANCE is a manualised intervention comprising 2-4 individual sessions (2 compulsory) with a keyworker to set goals, develop a personal safety plan and increase motivation and readiness, followed by a 12-session weekly group intervention delivered in substance use services. Men will be randomly allocated (ratio 1:1) to receive the ADVANCE intervention + TAU or TAU only. Men's female (ex) partners will be invited to provide outcome data and offered support from integrated safety services (ISS). Regular case management meetings between substance use and ISS will manage risk. Outcome measures will be obtained at the end of the intervention (approximately 4 months post-randomisation) for all male and female participants. The main objective of this feasibility trial is to estimate parameters required for planning a definitive trial including rates of consent, recruitment, and follow-up by site and group allocation. Nested formative evaluation including focus groups and in-depth interviews will explore the intervention's acceptability to participants, group facilitators, keyworkers and ISS workers. Secondary outcomes include substance use, IPA, mental health, self-management, health and social care service use, criminal justice contacts, and quality of life.

Discussion: Findings from this feasibility trial will inform the design of a multicentre randomised controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the ADVANCE intervention for reducing IPA and improving the well-being of female (ex)partners.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN79435190.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40814-020-00580-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212681PMC
May 2020

The identification and treatment of mental health and substance misuse problems in sexual assault services: A systematic review.

PLoS One 2020 10;15(4):e0231260. Epub 2020 Apr 10.

Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Specialist sexual assault services, which collect forensic evidence and offer holistic healthcare to people following sexual assault, have been established internationally. In England, these services are called sexual assault referral centres (SARCs). Mental health and substance misuse problems are common among SARC attendees, but little is known about how SARCs should address these needs. This review aims to seek and synthesise evidence regarding approaches to identification and support for mental health and substance misuse problems in SARCs and corresponding services internationally; empirical evidence regarding effective service models; and stakeholders' views and policy recommendations about optimal SARC practice.

Methods: A systematic review was undertaken. PsycINFO, MEDLINE, IBSS and CINAHL were searched from 1975 to August 2018. A web-based search up to December 2018 was also conducted to identify government and expert guidelines on SARCs. Quality assessment and narrative synthesis were conducted.

Results: We included 107 papers. We found that identification based on clinical judgement, supportive counselling and referral to other services without active follow-up were the most common approaches. Evaluations of interventions for post-rape psychopathology in attendees of sexual assault services provided mixed evidence of moderate quality. Very little evidence was found regarding interventions or support for substance misuse. Stakeholders emphasised the importance of accessibility, flexibility, continuity of care, in-house psychological support, staff trained in mental health as well as specialist support for LGBT groups and people with learning difficulties. Guidelines suggested that SARCs should assess for mental health and substance misuse and provide in-house emotional support, but the extent and nature of support were not clarified. Both stakeholders and guidelines recommended close partnership between sexual assault services and local counselling services.

Conclusions: This review suggests that there is big variation in the mental health and substance misuse provision both across and within different sexual assault service models. We found no robust evidence about how sexual assault services can achieve good mental health and substance misuse outcomes for service users. Clearer guidance for service planners and commissioners, informed by robust evidence about optimal service organisations and pathways, is required. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42018119706.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0231260PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147790PMC
July 2020

Comparing intentions to reduce substance use and willingness to seek help among transgender and cisgender participants from the Global Drug Survey.

J Subst Abuse Treat 2020 05 3;112:86-91. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Addictions Sciences Building, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.

Introduction: Transgender (trans) people experience stressors related to their minority status which have been associated with increased rates of psychoactive substance use and related harm. Despite this, there is a paucity of evidence relating to the treatment needs of trans people who use psychoactive substances, beyond a small body of literature describing a culture of transphobic hostility in general substance misuse services. This paper aims to describe and compare psychoactive substance misuse help-seeking among trans and cisgender (cis) participants from a large multi-national cross-sectional survey.

Methods: Over 180,000 participants, recruited from the world's largest annual survey of drug use - the Global Drug Survey - during 2018 and 2019, reported use of a range of psychoactive substances in the preceding 12 months. Five gender groups (118,157 cis men, 64,319 cis women, 369 trans men, 353 trans women and 1857 non-binary people) were compared on items relating to the desire to use less psychoactive substances and the need to seek help to achieve this.

Results: Trans respondents (n = 1710) to GDS 2018 were significantly more likely to report use of illicit substances (OR = 1.66-2.93) and dependence on cannabis (OR = 2.39) and alcohol (OR = 3.28). In the combined GDS 2018 and 2019 dataset, there were no significant differences between trans (n = 2579) and cis (n = 182,476) participants on the desire to reduce substance use. However, among those who did report wanting to use less, trans participants were more likely to want help to achieve this.

Conclusion: Trans respondents reported a greater need for help with reducing substance use than cis respondents. Given the deficit of specialist services for psychoactive substance users who are trans, there is a need for a more thorough understanding of the barriers and facilitators to their engagement in general substance misuse services. In the interim, substance misuse service providers require education about gender minority status to help meet the needs of trans clients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2020.03.001DOI Listing
May 2020

Interventions to Reduce Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration by Men Who Use Substances: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Efficacy.

Trauma Violence Abuse 2019 Nov 11:1524838019882357. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, UK.

Introduction: Despite the high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by men who use substances, limited evidence exists about how best to reduce IPV among this group.

Method: A systematic narrative review with meta-analysis determined the effectiveness of interventions to reduce IPV by men who use substances. Inclusion criteria were randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials; adult heterosexual male IPV perpetrators where at least 60% of participants were alcohol and/or drug users; the intervention targeted IPV with or without targeting substance use (SU); outcomes included perpetrator and/or victim reports of IPV, SU, or both. Methodological quality was assessed.

Results: Nine trials ( = 1,014 men) were identified. Interventions were grouped into (1) integrated IPV and SU interventions ( = 5), (2) IPV interventions with adjunct SU interventions ( = 2), and (3) stand-alone IPV interventions ( = 2). Cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing therapies were the most common approaches. Data from individual trials showed a reduction in SU outcomes in the short term (≤3months; = 2 trials) and IPV perpetration at different time points ( = 3 trials) for interventions compared with treatment as usual (TAU). Meta-analysis with integrated IPV and SU interventions showed no difference in SU ( = 3 trials) or IPV outcomes ( = 4 trials) versus SU TAU.

Conclusions: Little evidence exists for effective interventions for male IPV perpetrators who use substances. Outcomes in integrated interventions were not superior to TAU in meta-analysis. Future trials should consider the nature of the relationship between IPV and SU in intervention design, duration of intervention, and type and timing of outcome measures. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1524838019882357DOI Listing
November 2019

What Role Does Substance Use Play in Intimate Partner Violence? A Narrative Analysis of In-Depth Interviews With Men in Substance Use Treatment and Their Current or Former Female Partner.

J Interpers Violence 2019 Oct 3:886260519879259. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

King's College London, UK.

Few studies have examined intimate partner violence (IPV) in relationships where one or both partners are in treatment for substance use, from the perspectives of both members of a couple. This study used thematic and narrative analysis of the accounts of 14 men recruited from substance use services and 14 women who were their current or former intimate partners. Separate researchers interviewed men and women from the same dyad pair. The psychopharmacological effects of substance use (including intoxication, craving, and withdrawal) were rarely the only explanation offered for IPV. Violence was reported to be primed and entangled with sexual jealousy, with perceptions of female impropriety and with women's opposition to male authority. Both partners reported adversities and psychological vulnerabilities that they considered relevant to conflict and abuse. Male participants were more likely to describe IPV as uncharacteristic isolated events that arose from specific disputes-either aggravated by intoxication or withdrawal or about substance use and its resourcing-whereas women described enduring patterns of abusive behavior often linked to intoxication, craving, withdrawal, and to disputes linked to raising funds for substances. In relationships where both partners used substances, men described the need to protect their partners from addiction and from unscrupulous others while women described highly controlling behavior. In relationships where women were not dependent substance users, they reported the combined effects of psychological and financial abuse often linked to recurring patterns of substance use and relapse. These findings highlight the challenges faced by practitioners working with male perpetrators who use substances as well as the need of those working with women who have been abused to engage with the ways in which hesitance to leave male abusers can be complicated by shared drug dependency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260519879259DOI Listing
October 2019

What works for whom and why: A narrative systematic review of interventions for reducing post-traumatic stress disorder and problematic substance use among women with experiences of interpersonal violence.

J Subst Abuse Treat 2019 04 24;99:88-103. Epub 2018 Dec 24.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, London SE5 8BB, UK. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Women with histories of interpersonal violence (IPV) experience high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), problematic substance use, and repeat victimization. Previous systematic reviews considering the effectiveness of integrated trauma-specific treatments to address PTSD and substance use have lacked sub-group analysis by gender or trauma type. Furthermore, mindfulness-based interventions for treating both issues together are under-researched. It is unclear what treatment components and contextual factors impacting implementation work best for women with IPV experiences. This narrative review examines a range of quantitative and qualitative data to explore: for which groups of women do integrated interventions work (subgroups)? How (mechanisms of action), and/or under what contexts (factors external to the intervention)?

Methodology: A two-staged search strategy identified eligible studies. This process identified 20 controlled trials reporting on the effectiveness of psychological or mindfulness-based interventions for PTSD and substance use and 39 relevant supplementary information related to the trials. Narrative synthesis using thematic analysis was conducted on manuscripts identified in both stages.

Findings: Safe social support and ongoing risks of violence were identified as contextual factors which may affect treatment outcomes, requiring attention by researchers and treatment providers. Whilst there was some evidence that reduced PTSD correlates with substance use decrease, there may be more than one pathway to substance use reduction among women with PTSD, requiring a focus on emotional regulation. Other 'active mechanisms' included different modalities of coping skills and support to rebuild connection with self and others. Lack of supplementary studies for trials involving past-focused treatment precluded detailed discussion of these models.

Conclusions: Integrated PTSD and substance use treatment which teaches extensive coping skills to promote external safety, symptom stabilisation, and emotional regulation, combined with access to safe social support and external advocacy, may be particularly useful for women with more severe PTSD, or for those experiencing ongoing victimization for whom past-focused treatments are contraindicated. Long-term support and organisational trauma-informed practice in substance use treatment services should also be promoted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2018.12.007DOI Listing
April 2019

"..that warm feeling that [alcohol] gave me was what I interpreted love would feel like.." Lived experience of excessive alcohol use and care proceedings by mothers in the family justice system in the UK.

Addict Behav 2019 05 26;92:186-193. Epub 2018 Dec 26.

National Addiction Centre, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, London SE5 8BB, UK.

Background: When mothers who have been identified as using alcohol excessively appear in child care proceedings seeking to retain care of, or be reunited with, their children, family courts primarily focus on whether those mothers can make lasting changes to their use of alcohol, very often requiring them to achieve abstinence. The aim of this study was to advance the evidence base around how such mothers make sense of their alcohol use, and their position as mothers, in the systems and processes around care proceedings.

Methods: Qualitative, face-to-face interviews were carried out at various children and families' services locations across the UK. These yielded in-depth accounts, to which Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was applied.

Results: Six mothers were recruited from collaborations with 31 local authorities. Themes relating to alcohol use included relationships in childhood, repeated traumatic events, and the use of alcohol to self-manage these. In response to extreme fear arising from violence in their relationships with older men, alcohol provided the means to function. Escalation of alcohol use in participants' lives was accompanied by greater isolation, alongside shameful feelings about being a "drunk", which were barriers to help-seeking. Themes relating to motherhood in the context of care proceedings included wanting to change behaviour for themselves and their children, being excluded from their children's lives, and experiencing a continual requirement to prove their parenting and their abstinence from alcohol. Language used by social services, the courts and alcohol treatment services, placed mothers in conflicting positions of being in recovery, but having to present as recovered.

Conclusion: Despite excessive alcohol misuse in mothers being closely enmeshed with other issues, awareness and understanding of factors such as complex trauma, and how to support mothers with these factors, is limited, and should be considered in terms of improving research and best practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.12.032DOI Listing
May 2019

The interplay between substance use and intimate partner violence perpetration: A meta-ethnography.

Int J Drug Policy 2019 03 20;65:8-23. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Background: The relationship between intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration and substance use is not well understood. We conducted a meta-ethnography of qualitative studies to explore how substance use features in survivors' and perpetrators' accounts of IPV perpetration.

Methods: Qualitative studies from 1995 to 2016 were identified from PsycINFO, ASSIA and Web of Science, with an update in PsycINFO and ASSIA to December 2017. 7654 abstracts were screened for accounts of heterosexual IPV perpetration, then full-texts were screened for mentions of substance use. Key concepts from 26 qualitative studies (363 female survivors' and 219 male perpetrators' views) were synthesised to develop a grounded theory that put similarities and differences between studies into an interpretive order.

Results: Six themes emerged: five related to the complex interplay between substance use and IPV perpetration in the context of intoxication, withdrawal and addiction, impact on relationship and wider dynamics of power and control and psychological vulnerabilities; a final theme related to survivors' agency and resistance to IPV perpetration. Survivors and perpetrators noted how both intoxication and withdrawal could pre-empt IPV perpetration. Survivors, however, were more likely to see intoxication and withdrawal as part of a pattern of abusive behaviour, whereas perpetrators tended to describe a causal relationship between intoxication and discrete incidents of IPV perpetration. Irritability and frustration during withdrawal from or craving alcohol, heroin and stimulants, and/or a failure or partner refusal to procure money for drugs increased the likelihood of violence. Survivors were more likely than perpetrators to identify abuse in relation to the impact of substance use on their relationship and dynamics of power and control.

Conclusion: The interplay between substance use and IPV perpetration occurs at numerous contextual levels and is perceived differently by perpetrators and survivors. Behaviour change interventions must address the meanings behind divergent narratives about IPV perpetration and substance use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.12.009DOI Listing
March 2019

Help-Seeking Behaviors for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration by Men Receiving Substance Use Treatment: A Mixed-Methods Secondary Analysis.

J Interpers Violence 2021 04 13;36(7-8):3142-3167. Epub 2018 May 13.

King's College London, UK.

Despite the high prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration by men receiving substance use treatment, little is known about their help-seeking behaviors for IPV. A secondary analysis of a mixed-methods study of men receiving substance use treatment who perpetrated IPV examined the prevalence, characteristics, and barriers associated with IPV perpetration disclosure and help-seeking. In total, 170 men were interviewed using a structured questionnaire, and a subsample of 20 were interviewed in-depth about their experiences. Logistic regression determined variables associated with disclosure and help-seeking. Thematic analysis of the in-depth interviews explored barriers to disclosure and help-seeking. Only half the participants had told anyone about their IPV perpetration and about one quarter reported having sought any sort of support. Whereas participants were more likely to disclose their IPV perpetration to informal resources (such as friends or family), they tended to seek help from formal resources (such as health professionals or the police). A greater proportion of physical IPV perpetrators, who had disclosed, had been arrested or had police involvement for IPV, suggesting that their disclosure may not have been voluntary. The following themes emerged from the qualitative data about the barriers to disclosure and help-seeking for IPV perpetration: fear that their children would be taken into care by social services, shame and embarrassment, and a minimization or normalization of their behavior. In addition, many participants highlighted that they had never been previously asked about IPV during treatment for substance use and stressed the need for greater expertise in or knowledge of this topic from specialist services. Substance use treatment services should enquire about men's relationships and IPV perpetration to facilitate disclosure and provide support. Further research is necessary to determine the context of disclosure and help-seeking for IPV perpetration to increase the likelihood of identification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260518770645DOI Listing
April 2021

Drawing attention to a neglected injecting-related harm: a systematic review of AA amyloidosis among people who inject drugs.

Addiction 2018 10 8;113(10):1790-1801. Epub 2018 Jun 8.

Department of Public Health, Environments and Society, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background And Aims: Chronic skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) among people who inject drugs (PWID) can lead to AA amyloidosis: a serious, yet neglected, multi-organ disease. We aim to synthesize findings on the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical outcomes, screening recommendations and challenges to treatment for AA amyloidosis among PWID.

Methods: A systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). We searched the following bibliographic databases in July 2017: CINAHL Plus, Embase, Global Health, MEDLINE, PsycEXTRA, PsycINFO and SCOPUS. Studies were included if they investigated AA amyloidosis in PWID. Studies were not restricted to location, study type, year or language of publication. Study heterogeneity precluded meta-analysis; we present a narrative review of the literature.

Results: Thirty-seven papers from eight countries met inclusion criteria. A total of 781 PWID are reported on, of whom 177 had AA amyloidosis. Where disease causality is established, it is attributed to chronic inflammation caused by injecting-related SSTIs. Most (88.7%) PWID with AA amyloidosis had SSTIs. The proportion of PWID with AA amyloidosis at post-mortem ranged from 1.6% (Germany) to 22.5% (Serbia). Biopsy studies reported from 5.26% (Portugal) to 50% (Germany) of AA amyloidosis in PWID with suspected or known kidney disease. Following diagnosis, the typical trajectory for PWID with AA amyloidosis was rapid deterioration of renal function requiring haemodialysis. Treatment difficulties, end-stage renal failure and premature death from sepsis were observed. Good outcomes, including reversibility of AA amyloidosis, are attributed to rapid treatment of the underlining inflammation and injecting cessation. Notably, given the population in question, no studies were published in addiction or harm reduction journals; most (92%) appeared in specialist nephrology and medical journals.

Conclusion: There is strong evidence of an association between skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and AA amyloidosis. Among people who inject drugs, injecting-related SSTIs are a significant cause of morbidity and premature mortality and there is evidence of increasing SSTI prevalence. Limitations in the literature make it difficult to estimate AA amyloidosis prevalence among people who inject drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/add.14257DOI Listing
October 2018

Development of a prognostic model for predicting depression severity in adult primary patients with depressive symptoms using the diamond longitudinal study.

J Affect Disord 2018 02 13;227:854-860. Epub 2017 Nov 13.

Department of General Practice, The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Background: Depression trajectories among primary care patients are highly variable, making it difficult to identify patients that require intensive treatments or those that are likely to spontaneously remit. Currently, there are no easily implementable tools clinicians can use to stratify patients with depressive symptoms into different treatments according to their likely depression trajectory. We aimed to develop a prognostic tool to predict future depression severity among primary care patients with current depressive symptoms at three months.

Methods: Patient-reported data from the diamond study, a prospective cohort of 593 primary care patients with depressive symptoms attending 30 Australian general practices. Participants responded affirmatively to at least one of the first two PHQ-9 items. Twenty predictors were pre-selected by expert consensus based on reliability, ease of administration, likely patient acceptability, and international applicability. Multivariable mixed effects linear regression was used to build the model.

Results: The prognostic model included eight baseline predictors: sex, depressive symptoms, anxiety, history of depression, self-rated health, chronic physical illness, living alone, and perceived ability to manage on available income. Discrimination (c-statistic =0.74; 95% CI: 0.70-0.78) and calibration (agreement between predicted and observed symptom scores) were acceptable and comparable to other prognostic models in primary care.

Limitations: More complex model was not feasible because of modest sample size. Validation studies needed to confirm model performance in new primary care attendees.

Conclusion: A brief, easily administered algorithm predicting the severity of depressive symptoms has potential to assist clinicians to tailor treatment for adult primary care patients with current depressive symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.11.042DOI Listing
February 2018

Correction to: Psychiatric comorbidity and intimate partner violence among women who inject drugs in Europe: a cross-sectional study.

Arch Womens Ment Health 2018 06;21(3):271

Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain.

The original version of this article unfortunately missed the Acknowledgment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00737-018-0810-9DOI Listing
June 2018

Psychiatric comorbidity and intimate partner violence among women who inject drugs in Europe: a cross-sectional study.

Arch Womens Ment Health 2018 06 11;21(3):259-269. Epub 2017 Dec 11.

Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions, Parc de Salut Mar, Barcelona, Spain.

Women who inject drugs (WWID) are an especially vulnerable group of drug users. This study determined the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity and intimate partrner violence (IPV), and factors associated with psychiatric comorbidity among WWID recruited from drug treatment services (67%) and harm reduction services in five European regions in Austria, Catalonia, Italy, Poland, and Scotland. Psychiatric comorbidity was assessed among 226 WWID using the Dual Diagnosis Screening Instrument. IPV was assessed using the Composite Abuse Scale and injecting and sexual risk behaviors were assessed using a battery of questionnaires adapted and developed for the study. Eighty-seven percent met criteria for at least one lifetime psychiatric disorder. The most common disorders were depression (76%), panic (54%), and post-traumatic stress (52%). WWID recruited in drug treatment services were almost three times as likely (OR 2.90 95% CI 1.30-6.43; p = 0.007) to meet criteria for a lifetime psychiatric disorder than those recruited from harm reduction services, specifically dysthymia (OR 5.32 95% CI 2.27-12.48; p = 0.000) and post-traumatic stress disorder (OR 1.83 95% CI 1.02-3.27; p = 0.040). WWID who reported sharing needles and syringes were almost three times as likely to meet criteria for lifetime psychiatric comorbidity than those who did not (OR 2.65 95% CI 1.07-6.56). Compared to WWID who had not experienced IPV, victims (70%) were almost two times more likely to meet criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (OR 1.95 95% CI 1.10-3.48). Psychiatric comorbidity and IPV among WWID are common. Drug treatment and harm reduction services should address psychiatric comorbidity and IPV to improve treatment outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00737-017-0800-3DOI Listing
June 2018

Preventing blood-borne virus infection in people who inject drugs in the UK: systematic review, stakeholder interviews, psychosocial intervention development and feasibility randomised controlled trial.

Health Technol Assess 2017 11;21(72):1-312

Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK.

Background: Opioid substitution therapy and needle exchanges have reduced blood-borne viruses (BBVs) among people who inject drugs (PWID). Some PWID continue to share injecting equipment.

Objectives: To develop an evidence-based psychosocial intervention to reduce BBV risk behaviours and increase transmission knowledge among PWID, and conduct a feasibility trial among PWID comparing the intervention with a control.

Design: A pragmatic, two-armed randomised controlled, open feasibility trial. Service users were Steering Group members and co-developed the intervention. Peer educators co-delivered the intervention in London.

Setting: NHS or third-sector drug treatment or needle exchanges in Glasgow, London, Wrexham and York, recruiting January and February 2016.

Participants: Current PWID, aged ≥ 18 years.

Interventions: A remote, web-based computer randomisation system allocated participants to a three-session, manualised, psychosocial, gender-specific group intervention delivered by trained facilitators and BBV transmission information booklet plus treatment as usual (TAU) (intervention), or information booklet plus TAU (control).

Main Outcome Measures: Recruitment, retention and follow-up rates measured feasibility. Feedback questionnaires, focus groups with participants who attended at least one intervention session and facilitators assessed the intervention's acceptability.

Results: A systematic review of what works to reduce BBV risk behaviours among PWID; in-depth interviews with PWID; and stakeholder and expert consultation informed the intervention. Sessions covered improving injecting technique and good vein care; planning for risky situations; and understanding BBV transmission. Fifty-six per cent (99/176) of eligible PWID were randomised: 52 to the intervention group and 47 to the control group. Only 24% (8/34) of male and 11% (2/18) of female participants attended all three intervention sessions. Overall, 50% (17/34) of men and 33% (6/18) of women randomised to the intervention group and 47% (14/30) of men and 53% (9/17) of women randomised to the control group were followed up 1 month post intervention. Variations were reported by location. The intervention was acceptable to both participants and facilitators. At 1 month post intervention, no increase in injecting in 'risky' sites (e.g. groin, neck) was reported by participants who attended at least one session. PWID who attended at least one session showed a trend towards greater reduction in injecting risk behaviours, a greater increase in withdrawal planning and were more confident about finding a vein. A mean cost of £58.17 per participant was calculated for those attending one session, £148.54 for those attending two sessions and £270.67 for those attending all three sessions, compared with £0.86 in the control group. Treatment costs across the centres vary as a result of the different levels of attendance, as total session costs are divided by attendees to obtain a cost per attendee. The economic analysis suggests that a cost-effectiveness study would be feasible given the response rates and completeness of data. However, we have identified aspects where the service use questionnaire could be abbreviated given the low numbers reported in several care domains. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: As only 19% of participants attended all three intervention sessions and 47% were followed up 1 month post intervention, a future definitive randomised controlled trial of the intervention is not feasible. Exposure to information on improving injecting techniques did not encourage riskier injecting practices or injecting frequency, and benefits were reported among attendees. The intervention has the potential to positively influence BBV prevention. Harm reduction services should ensure that the intervention content is routinely delivered to PWID to improve vein care and prevent BBVs.

Future Work: The intervention did not meet the complex needs of some PWID, more tailoring may be needed to reach PWID who are more frequent injectors, who are homeless and female.

Limitations: Intervention delivery proved more feasible in London than other locations. Non-attendance at the York trial site substantially influenced the results.

Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN66453696 and PROSPERO 014:CRD42014012969.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in ; Vol. 21, No. 72. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta21720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733383PMC
November 2017

Comparison of health-related quality of life among men with different co-existing severe mental disorders in treatment for substance use.

Health Qual Life Outcomes 2017 Oct 23;15(1):209. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King's College London, 4 Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8BB, UK.

Background: Patient-perceived health-related quality of life has become an important outcome in health care as an indicator of treatment effectiveness and recovery for patients with substance use disorder. As no study has assessed health-related quality of life among male patients with substance use disorder and co-existing severe mental illness, we compared health-related quality of life among patients with substance use disorder and the following severe mental illness diagnosis in Barcelona, Spain: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and examined the associations with clinically related variables. Additionally, we compared results for health-related quality of life in patients with substance use disorder and severe mental illness, with Spanish population norms.

Methods: We assessed 107 substance use disorder male patients using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey comparing results across three groups with: comorbid schizophrenia (n = 37), comorbid bipolar disorder (n = 34), and comorbid major depressive disorder (n = 36). Multiple analyses of variance were performed to explore health-related quality of life by the type of co-existing SMI and linear regression analyses examined clinical correlates for the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey dimensions for each group.

Results: There were differences in Physical Functioning, Vitality and the Physical Composite Scale among groups. Poorer Physical Functioning was observed for patients with comorbid schizophrenia (80.13±3.27) and major depressive disorder (81.97±3.11) compared with comorbid bipolar disorder patients (94.26±1.93). Patients with substance use disorder and schizophrenia presented lower scores in Vitality (41.6±2.80) than those with co-existing bipolar disorder (55.68±3.66) and major depressive disorder (53.63±2.92). Finally, results in the Physical Composite Scale showed lower scores for patients with comorbid schizophrenia (51.06±1.41) and major depressive disorder (51.99±1.87) than for those with bipolar disorder (60.40±2.17). Moreover, all groups had poorer health-related quality of life, especially Social Functioning, Role-Emotional and Mental Health, compared with population norms. Different clinical variables (e.g. medical disease comorbidity, severity of addiction, psychiatric symptomatology, suicide attempts, drug relapses) were related to different health-related quality of life dimensions depending on the co-existing severe mental illness.

Conclusions: Among male patients with substance use disorder, co-existing severe mental illness may influence some health-related quality of life dimensions and clinically related variables. Such differences may require tailored therapeutic interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12955-017-0781-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654090PMC
October 2017

Maternal substance use and child protection: a rapid evidence assessment of factors associated with loss of child care.

Child Abuse Negl 2017 Aug 25;70:11-27. Epub 2017 May 25.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London SE5 8BB, UK. Electronic address:

This article reviews the literature on the factors associated with mothers who use substances losing care of their children. A rapid evidence assessment was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses. Medline and PsycINFO databases were searched to identify primary research studies published in English during January 2000-September 2016. Studies were included if they presented individual, formal support (e.g., receiving substance use treatment) or informal support (e.g., receiving social and family support) factors associated with mothers who use substances retaining or losing care of their child/ren (losing care refers to child protection services placing child/ren under the custody of a family relative, foster care, child care institution, or adoption). Evaluation studies or trials of interventions were excluded as were studies that focused on reunification or re-entering care as the outcome. Thirteen studies were included. Factors associated with mothers who use substances losing care of their children included: maternal characteristics (low socioeconomic status, younger age of first child, criminal justice involvement); psychological factors (mental health co-morbidity, adverse childhood experiences); patterns of substance use (use of cocaine prenatally, injection drug use); formal and informal support (not receiving treatment for substance use, fewer prenatal care visits, lack of social support). There is not enough evidence to determine the influence of substance use treatment in preventing mothers losing care of their children. Factors identified in this review provide the evidence to inform a prevention agenda and afford services the opportunity to design interventions that meet the needs of those mothers who are more likely to lose care of their children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.05.005DOI Listing
August 2017

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Psychosocial Interventions to Reduce Drug and Sexual Blood Borne Virus Risk Behaviours Among People Who Inject Drugs.

AIDS Behav 2017 Jul;21(7):1791-1811

Addiction Research Group, IMIM-Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques, Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions, Parc de Salut Mar de Barcelona, 08003, Barcelona, Spain.

Opiate substitution treatment and needle exchanges have reduced blood borne virus (BBV) transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID). Psychosocial interventions could further prevent BBV. A systematic review and meta-analysis examined whether psychosocial interventions (e.g. CBT, skills training) compared to control interventions reduced BBV risk behaviours among PWID. 32 and 24 randomized control trials (2000-May 2015 in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Collaboration and Clinical trials, with an update in MEDLINE to December 2016) were included in the review and meta-analysis respectively. Psychosocial interventions appear to reduce: sharing of needles/syringes compared to education/information (SMD -0.52; 95% CI -1.02 to -0.03; I = 10%; p = 0.04) or HIV testing/counselling (SMD -0.24; 95% CI -0.44 to -0.03; I = 0%; p = 0.02); sharing of other injecting paraphernalia (SMD -0.24; 95% CI -0.42 to -0.06; I = 0%; p < 0.01) and unprotected sex (SMD -0.44; 95% CI -0.86 to -0.01; I = 79%; p = 0.04) compared to interventions of a lesser time/intensity, however, moderate to high heterogeneity was reported. Such interventions could be included with other harm reduction approaches to prevent BBV transmission among PWID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-017-1755-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5491643PMC
July 2017

The acceptability and feasibility of a brief psychosocial intervention to reduce blood-borne virus risk behaviours among people who inject drugs: a randomised control feasibility trial of a psychosocial intervention (the PROTECT study) versus treatment as usual.

Harm Reduct J 2017 03 21;14(1):14. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

York Trials Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, England, UK.

Background: While opiate substitution therapy and injecting equipment provision (IEP) have reduced blood-borne viruses (BBV) among people who inject drugs (PWID), some PWID continue to share injecting equipment and acquire BBV. Psychosocial interventions that address risk behaviours could reduce BBV transmission among PWID.

Methods: A pragmatic, two-armed randomised controlled, open feasibility study of PWID attending drug treatment or IEP in four UK regions. Ninety-nine PWID were randomly allocated to receive a three-session manualised psychosocial group intervention and BBV transmission information booklet plus treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 52) or information booklet plus TAU (n = 47). The intervention was developed from evidence-based literature, qualitative interviews with PWID, key stakeholder consultations, and expert opinion. Recruitment rates, retention in treatment, follow-up completion rates and health economic data completion measured feasibility.

Results: Fifty-six percent (99/176) of eligible PWID were recruited. More participants attended at least one intervention session in London (10/16; 63%) and North Wales (7/13; 54%) than in Glasgow (3/12; 25%) and York (0/11). Participants who attended no sessions (n = 32) compared to those attending at least one (n = 20) session were more likely to be homeless (56 vs 25%, p = 0.044), injected drugs for a greater number of days (median 25 vs 6.5, p = 0.019) and used a greater number of needles from an IEP in the last month (median 31 vs 20, p = 0.056). No adverse events were reported. 45.5% (45/99) were followed up 1 month post-intervention. Feedback forms confirmed that the intervention was acceptable to both intervention facilitators and participants who attended it. Follow-up attendance was associated with fewer days of injecting in the last month (median 14 vs 27, p = 0.030) and fewer injections of cocaine (13 vs 30%, p = 0.063). Analysis of the questionnaires identified several service use questionnaire categories that could be excluded from the assessment battery in a full-randomised controlled trial.

Conclusions: Findings should be interpreted with caution due to small sample sizes. A future definitive RCT of the psychosocial intervention is not feasible. The complex needs of some PWID may have limited their engagement in the intervention. More flexible delivery methods may have greater reach.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN66453696.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12954-017-0142-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359828PMC
March 2017

Controlling behaviours and technology-facilitated abuse perpetrated by men receiving substance use treatment in England and Brazil: Prevalence and risk factors.

Drug Alcohol Rev 2017 01;36(1):52-63

Gender Violence and Health Research Group, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Introduction And Aims: Controlling behaviours are highly prevalent forms of non-physical intimate partner violence (IPV). The prevalence of perpetrating controlling behaviours and technology-facilitated abuse (TFA) was compared by men receiving substance use treatment in England (n = 223) and Brazil (n = 280). Factors associated with perpetrating these behaviours towards their current/most recent partner and their association with other types of IPV were explored.

Design And Methods: Secondary analysis from two cross-sectional studies was performed. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, infidelity, IPV perpetration and victimisation, adverse childhood experiences (ACE), attitudes towards gender relations and roles, substance use, depressive symptoms and anger expression were collected.

Results: Sixty-four percent (143/223) and 33% (73/223) of participants in England and 65% (184/280) and 20% (57/280) in Brazil reported controlling behaviours and TFA, respectively, during their current/most recent relationship. Excluding IPV victimisation from the multivariate models; perpetrating controlling behaviours was associated with a higher number of ACE, higher anger expression (England) and severe physical IPV perpetration (Brazil), and perpetrating TFA was associated with younger age. Including both IPV victimisation and perpetration in the multivariate models; perpetrating controlling behaviour was associated with experiencing a higher number of ACE, higher anger expression (England), emotional IPV victimisation (England) and experiencing controlling behaviour from a partner (England). The perpetration of TFA was associated with younger age and experiencing TFA from a partner.

Conclusions: Technological progress provides opportunities for perpetrators to control and abuse their partners. Controlling behaviours and TFA should be addressed to reduce IPV perpetration by males in substance use treatment. [Gilchrist G, Canfield M,Radcliffe P, d'Oliveira AFPL. Controlling behaviours and technology-facilitated abuse perpetrated by men receiving substance use treatment in England and Brazil: Prevalence and risk factors. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;36:52-63].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.12521DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5299471PMC
January 2017

Tailored integrated interventions for intimate partner violence and substance use are urgently needed.

Drug Alcohol Rev 2017 01;36(1):3-6

Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne and The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.12526DOI Listing
January 2017

The prevalence and factors associated with ever perpetrating intimate partner violence by men receiving substance use treatment in Brazil and England: A cross-cultural comparison.

Drug Alcohol Rev 2017 01 5;36(1):34-51. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Gender Violence and Health Research Group, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Introduction And Aims: Intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration is common among men who use substances. Substance use is a contributing factor for IPV perpetration. This cross-sectional study determined lifetime prevalence and factors associated with ever perpetrating IPV by men receiving substance use treatment in Brazil (n = 281) and England (n = 223).

Design And Methods: IPV, adverse childhood experiences, attitudes towards gender relations and roles, current health state, substance use, depressive symptoms and anger expression were assessed. Logistic regression determined factors associated with ever perpetrating any (emotional, physical and/or sexual) IPV. Multinomial logistic regression determined factors associated with ever perpetrating different types of IPV.

Results: 74.6% (373/500) reported ever perpetrating IPV: 16.5% (82/498) emotional IPV only, 46.4% (231/498) physical IPV (with/without emotional IPV) and 11.6% (58/498) sexual IPV (with/without emotional and/or physical IPV). Higher anger expression, higher depressive symptoms, fighting physically with another man in the past year (Brazil only), experiencing a greater number of adverse childhood experiences and a higher hazardous drinking score (England only) predicted ever perpetrating IPV. Compared to never perpetrating any IPV, anger expression was associated with emotional and physical IPV perpetration; fighting physically with another man in the past year was associated with physical IPV perpetration and experiencing a greater number of adverse childhood experiences and a higher hazardous drinking score were associated with both physical and sexual IPV perpetration.

Discussion And Conclusions: Integrated interventions that address IPV and substance use delivered in substance use treatment could improve outcomes for perpetrators and victims.[Gilchrist G, Radcliffe P, Noto AR, d'Oliveira AFPL. The prevalence and factors associated with ever perpetrating intimate partner violence by men receiving substance use treatment in Brazil and England: A cross-cultural comparison. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;36:34-51].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.12436DOI Listing
January 2017

Accounting for intimate partner violence perpetration. A cross-cultural comparison of English and Brazilian male substance users' explanations.

Drug Alcohol Rev 2017 01 12;36(1):64-71. Epub 2016 Aug 12.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

Introduction And Aims: This paper describes how substance use features in the accounts of intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators in treatment in England and Brazil. The aim of the research was to better understand cross cultural constructions of IPV perpetration amongst men in treatment for substance use.

Design And Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 men in community substance use treatment in Sao Paolo, Brazil and London and the South East of England who had reported IPV perpetration in a questionnaire survey. A thematic, narrative analysis was carried out of men's explanations for IPV perpetration.

Findings: Three types of narratives were distinguished: (i) disputes, centred on substance use, that escalate to IPV perpetration; (ii) IPV perpetration that is explained by uncharacteristic loss of control, as a result of intoxication; and (iii) IPV perpetration provoked by a perceived betrayal, in which substance use is incidental. In all types of accounts hegemonic principles of male and female roles and behaviour provided a context for and make IPV perpetration explicable.

Discussion And Conclusions: Substance use and IPV are culturally constructed and contextually defined. Understanding the meaning-making of substance using IPV perpetrators has implications for the treatment of both substance abuse and IPV. [Radcliffe P, d'Oliveira AFPL, Lea S, dos Santos Figueiredo W, Gilchrist G. Accounting for intimate partner violence perpetration. A cross-cultural comparison of English and Brazilian male substance users' explanations. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;36:64-71].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dar.12450DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5298038PMC
January 2017

"You can never work with addictions in isolation": Addressing intimate partner violence perpetration by men in substance misuse treatment.

Int J Drug Policy 2016 10 28;36:130-40. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King's College, Windsor Walk, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8BB, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background: Studies have shown rates of IPV-perpetration among men in substance misuse treatment at rates far higher than the general population. There is poor evidence for the effectiveness of IPV perpetrator programmes.

Methods: An analysis of drugs and alcohol policy documents 1998-2015 was conducted using discourse analysis to examine how English drug and alcohol policy has addressed IPV among substance misusers. Transcripts of interviews with 20 stake holders were analysed thematically.

Results: How policy 'frames' IPV-perpetration among drug and alcohol misusers has implications for service provision. IPV has increasingly been framed in terms of its implications for child safeguarding, and has been 'folded in' to policies targeting Troubled Families. With increasing 'localism' in English drug and alcohol policy there has been little specification of services for substance misusing IPV-perpetrators. Policy and literature produced by IPV perpetrator and victim organisations has framed IPV-perpetration as an individual choice with intoxication as a post hoc excuse for violence with limited implications for effective service development. Interviews with stake holders indicate a range of understandings/explanations for IPV among substance misusing men. Stake holders suggest that not all staff have the confidence or skills to ask men about their relationships and that there are few referral routes for substance misusing men who seek help for their IPV perpetration.

Conclusion: There are gaps and contradictions in the extent to which English drug and alcohol policy has sought to address IPV-perpetration among substance misusers. Recent National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance provide an opportunity to include domestic abuse training for all front line social care staff including in the substance misuse sector. There is a need for further research into effective services for substance misusing perpetrators and the development of training for front-line staff.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2016.03.010DOI Listing
October 2016
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