Objective: The groupwork programme in this study sought to engage HIV positive drug misusers within a prison setting in order to introduce ideas and information, and by so doing promote desired behavioural changes in terms of risk behaviour and drug addiction. Such an effort was also seen as a strategy to help prisoners cope with imprisonment and to prepare them for the demands that they might face following release.
Method: Various methods of giving information and discussion were employed in order to influence members' views and behaviour. The interactions between group members were recorded using a modified version of Bale's Interaction Process Analysis Instrument during each session. In this way it was possible to analyse individual member's functioning as well as that of the whole group over the duration of the programme.
Results: While significant changes in members' views and behaviour could not be proven, an analysis of the group's communication, control, evaluation and decision making profiles reflected effort and engagement in tackling the subject inputs. Analysis of individual member's contributions was, however, open to more speculative interpretation.
Conclusion: The positive response from group members, combined with an analysis of the results suggests that the approach adopted in the programme was an encouraging step in devising an acceptable and relevant educational and treatment strategy in dealing with this usually reluctant client group, many of whom are unresponsive to traditional treatment methods.