Authors: Briana Lees, Mieke Snijder, Lexine Stapinski, James Ward, Nicola Newton, Katrina Champion, Cath Chapman, Maree Teeson
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Research & Evaluation Informing Practice,Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation,Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Mental disorders are the second largest burden of disease for Indigenous people, with alcohol misuse the second leading cause. The results of a systematic review on substance use prevention programs for Indigenous youth in English-speaking countries are presented in order to guide new initiatives in Australia.
Eight peer-reviewed databases were systematically searched and identified 22 evaluations of substance use prevention programs for Indigenous youth in Australia, New Zealand, United States of America and Canada. Standardised tools were used to assess the quality of quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods.
The review identified mainstream programs that are culturally adapted as more effective than cultural-based and unadapted programs. Community programs reported consistent effectiveness, but poor quality of the evaluation methods. School-based programs found mixed results and had moderate to poor quality of the evaluation methods. Evaluations conducted in Australia were consistently identified as poor, highlighting the need for an evidenced-based high quality intervention.
The review highlighted the importance of partnerships between Indigenous members and researchers in the development and facilitation of programs. Cultural enhancement and substance education were identified as key modules. The implications of these findings for the development of culturally-appropriate substance use prevention programs for Indigenous youth will be discussed.
Learning Objective 1: Substance prevention initiatives for young Indigenous people within Australia are currently lacking and in the past have been a low quality standard. The implementation of a high quality, evidence-informed prevention program to reduce alcohol and drug-related harms among young Indigenous people is required.
Learning Objective 2: Alcohol misuse is the second leading cause of mental health disorders among Indigenous Australians. This systematic review was aimed at identifying the best preventative programs for substance initiation and reducing frequency of use among Indigenous youth.
Vos, T., Barker, B., Stanley, L., & Lopez, A. (2007). The burden of disease and injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2003. Brisbane: University of Queensland.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2011). The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, an overview. Canberra: AIHW.
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