Predictors of consent and engagement to participate in telephone delivered continuing care following specialist residential alcohol and other drug treatment
Introduction and aims: Although continuing care programs have been shown to improve alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment outcomes, uptake of continuing care has been low. The current study aimed to determine predictors of participants’ who both re-confirmed consent to engage in telephone-based continuing care and commenced continuing care once they left residential AOD treatment. These participants had initially consented to partake in continuing care during the course of their residential stay. Methods: Participants were 391 individuals (232 males, 59% and 158 females, 40%) accessing therapeutic communities for AOD treatment provided by The Australian Salvation Army and We Help Ourselves (WHOS). Measures at baseline, collected during residential treatment, included demographics, primary substance of concern, abstinence goal, refusal self-efficacy, cravings for substances, mental health diagnoses, psychological distress, quality of life and feelings of loneliness. All measures were used as predictor variables to determine characteristics of participants who re-confirmed consent to engage in continuing care and commenced continuing care following residential AOD treatment. Results: Completing residential treatment, being unmarried, and higher levels of loneliness predicted re-confirmation of consent to participate in continuing care following discharge from residential treatment. Participants who were Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander were less likely to provide re-confirmation of consent. Participants were more likely to commence continuing care if they completed residential treatment, were older, and had longer years of substance use. Conclusions: Tailoring continuing care programs to reach a broader array of individuals such as Indigenous populations and persons who exit treatment services early is needed to ensure these programs can reach all individuals who might need them.
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