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Screening and assessment instruments for use in Indigenous-specific alcohol and drug treatment rehabilitation

  • Anne Stephens (a1), India Bohanna (a2), Deborah Graham (a3) and Alan R. Clough (a4)
Abstract

Objective: The study's aim was to review instruments suitable for assessing Australian Indigenous clients’ treatment needs, and changes in wellbeing while receiving treatment for substance misuse at a culturally competent residential setting in north Queensland, Australia.

Method: Searches of electronic databases, previously published reviews and websites was conducted. Instruments were selected according to their use in alcohol and drug treatment, developed for and/or validated with Australian Indigenous populations and applicability to measuring wellbeing.

Findings: Forty instruments were identified and their characteristics summarised according to five descriptive categories: (1) evidence of psychometric utility and previous use in alcohol and drug treatment settings, (2) developed for, used with, and/or validated specifically for Australian Indigenous populations, (3) a flexible administrative method of self-report and/or interview, (4) an administration time of less than 20 minutes and (5) freely accessible in the public domain.

Conclusions: Few instruments were found to have been validated specifically for use with Australian Indigenous people for use in drug and alcohol treatment. In order to measure wellbeing change and effective treatment, it may be possible to appropriately modify mainstream instruments, however, validation and sensitivity assessment of instruments for use with Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is urgently required.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Anne Stephens The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Australia4870, Email: anne.stephens@jcu.edu.au
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