Advancing Collaborative Learning Between Patients and Providers in Substance Abuse Clinics
Track: Full Session
As confirmed by recent national studies, a high proportion of individuals with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have substance abuse/addiction and related mental health disorders. Although expert recommendations call for HCV treatment among people who inject drugs to prevent HCV transmission, many barriers exist including stigma, psychosocial factors, and misconceptions concerning HCV treatment. In 2016-17, PRIME Education, LLC (PRIME®)has delivered and measured an educational program to strengthen linkage to hepatitis C care for patients with substance abuse who are living with or at risk for HCV infection. The multi-accredited program addresses the diverse learning needs of addiction specialists of various professional backgrounds including physicians, addiction counselors, psychologists, and social workers, as well as clients/patients seen at their clinics. The program includes IRB-approved surveys conducted among substance abuse clients and their providers, as well as multi-accredited provider and patient tethered learning sessions. Held in 10 substance abuse/addiction centers across the U.S. in 2016 and 26 centers in 2017, educational sessions are led by each center’s addiction specialists and clinical team and presented to the client population in a train-the-trainer format. Each clinic also receives a curriculum to guide the live sessions and provide evidence-based data and information essential for conducting client-centered treatment. The educational framework emphasizes “learning by doing” with one-on-one communication and engagement between providers and their patients, as well as between patient peers. A key objective of the program is to initiate patient requests for HCV screening, and methods to assist clinics in either establishing HCV screening protocols in their facilities or identifying community resources where patients requesting HCV screening could be tested.
Key findings and educational outcomes have revealed significant gaps among substance abuse clients and their providers with regards to their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of their risks of HCV, lifestyle, behavior for risk reduction, symptoms and available therapies. Concerns regarding stigma, judgment, and social determinants of health have been revealed by both patients and providers. At the conclusion of the sessions, a significant number of patients have demonstrated interest to be screened for HCV, and reported benefits of the collaborative learning session that reflect stronger linkages to HCV care. A majority of the addiction specialists have indicated that the education prompted action plans for encouraging their patients to get tested for HCV, continuing to conduct collaborative learning sessions with resources provided through the program, and encouraging their clinics to implement HCV testing.
To advance the impact of this educational session among CME stakeholders, real-life stories will be shared by an addiction specialist counselor who participated in the project.
This program has been supported by educational grants from Gilead Sciences, Inc. and AbbVie, Inc.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. Hepatitis C FAQs for health professionals. (Last updated July 21, 2016). http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/hcvfaq.htm.
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