Publications by authors named "Ma Regina M Hechanova"

2 Publications

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Psychosocial treatment for incarcerated methamphetamine users: the Philippines experience.

Int J Prison Health 2020 Aug;16(4):343-358

Department of Community Family and Addiction Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate a psychosocial treatment program for prisoners incarcerated because of methamphetamine use. It compared the outcomes of prisoners who received the program while incarcerated, those who were released and received the treatment as part of community-based drug recovery program and a waitlist-control group (WC) with no treatment.

Design/methodology/approach: A quasi-experimental design was use with pre- and post-test surveys administered to three groups: a WC group, a pre-release treatment-while-incarcerated (TWI) group, and a post-release outpatient treatment group (OP). Surveys measured recovery skills, life skills and substance use disorder (SUD) symptoms were administered before and after the intervention.

Findings: Results revealed that at baseline OP and TWI had significant higher recovery skills compared to WC group. However, in terms of life skills, there was no significant difference observed among the WC, OP and TWI group at baseline. TWI had a significantly lower number of SUD symptoms compared to the WC group at baseline. As hypothesized, findings revealed significant changes in recovery and life skills among the OP and TWI group compared to the WC group. No significant change in SUD scores were observed for all groups.

Research Limitations/implications: A major limitation of the study was the use of a quasi-experimental design because legal issues did not allow a randomized control trial. Future research using randomized controlled trial designs would provide more robust conclusions on the impact of the intervention. The study design was also limited to pre- and post-evaluation. Further studies are encouraged to look at longitudinal outcomes of appears on SUD symptoms and possibility of relapse.

Practical Implications: Given that there were no significant differences in outcomes between OP and TWI groups, results suggest that the program may serve either as a pre- or post-release program for incarcerated drug users. However, results also suggest that completion is higher when the program is used as a pre-release program. Delivering the program prior to release also reduces challenges related to attrition including conflict in schedules and the lack of resources for transportation.

Social Implications: The study suggests the value of psychosocial treatment as opposed to punitive approaches in dealing with drug use. In particular, delivering interventions prior to release can prepare participants for problems they may encounter during reintegration and prevent recidivism. In a country where drug-related killings are on the rise, the study presents an alternate and restorative justice approach.

Originality/value: The study addresses a dearth in the literature on psychosocial intervention for methamphetamine users. It also fills a vacuum in studies from developing countries such as the Philippines.
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August 2020

Problem severity, technology adoption, and intent to seek online counseling among overseas Filipino workers.

Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw 2013 Aug 5;16(8):613-7. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Department of Psychology, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines.

This study examined the factors that influence the intent to seek online counseling among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). A survey among 365 OFWs revealed that problem severity and technology adoption predict intent to use online counseling. Among the three factors of technology adoption, perceived ease in the use of technology and perceived presence of organization and technological infrastructure to support use predicted intent to use online counseling. Our hypothesis about the presence of interaction between problem severity and facilitating conditions was supported. Among individuals with low problem severity, those who perceive the presence of organization and technological infrastructure to support use have a higher intent to use online counseling. However, at higher levels of problem severity, the effect of facilitating conditions seems to disappear. These findings highlight the crucial role of preventive online mental health services. The study contributes to theory by integrating the stage model of help-seeking behaviors and technology adoption theory in predicting intent to use online counseling. Specifically, that intent to seek online counseling is affected by the existence and perceived gravity of a problem, moderated by technology adoption factors, particularly facilitating conditions. These have implications on the need to educate potential users on the advantages of counseling and ensure that migrant workers have access to technology and that the technology is easy to use.
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August 2013