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What enhances the formation of social bonds & facilitates better engagement & retention in an addiction service?

Moore, Gerard orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-2717-433X, Glover, Rita, McGonagle, Catherine, Phelan, Daniel and O'Sullivan, Clodagh (2018) What enhances the formation of social bonds & facilitates better engagement & retention in an addiction service? Project Report. UNSPECIFIED.

The study explored whether there are key skills that staff use to relate to service users which help with the formation of social bonds, which in turn leads to increased levels of service user engagement and retention. Data for the study was collected through a literature review, ethnographic observation, interviews and focus groups with staff and service users. The findings showed that staff are successful at engaging and retaining service users and it is their ability to form strong social bonds which is the key to its success. This is achieved through the philosophy of the project which is made up of three central tenets: a non-punitive approach, person-centred care and trauma informed care. The person-centred care approach facilitates the formation of a partnership between staff and service users in which they work together to achieve personalised recovery goals unique to each individual service user. The non-punitive approach stipulates that service users are not punished or judged for having a relapse, which results in the reduction of shame and the promotion of honesty. This non-punitive stance is experienced by service users as facilitative to their recovery, with some participants reporting that this approach was less evident in other models of addiction treatment. Trauma Informed Care allows service users to seek appropriate treatment for any possible underlying issues they may have, allowing them to fully engage in the service. The three interrelated strands of the philosophy produce an approach to the treatment of substance misuse that is considered to be unique and different to many mainstream addiction models and provides a platform for the formation of social bonds. There are some trade-offs as a result of adopting such a philosophy. It was discovered that staff place a large emphasis on trauma informed care; it is commendable that staff have committed to an approach which endeavours to identify people who have been exposed to trauma and are impacted by symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as their recognition of the value of referral to appropriate treatment services. Given that there are a number of other confounding factors which may also be decisive, it is recommended that staff consider a balanced approach which remains open to other factors besides trauma such as the community reinforcement approach, motivational interviewing and the person centred approach. Secondly, the desire to unconditionally support service users while supportive and empowering has the possible drawback of fostering dependency and impeding autonomy. It is recommended that the balance between high levels of support and promoting independence continues to be a central element of the service approach to active discharge planning. Finally, the research identified a need to upskill in areas such as mental health and couple counselling to further support service users who may have dual diagnosis or who are experiencing relationship problems due to substance misuse.
Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Addiction Treatment; Philosophy of Care;Person Centered Care; Trauma Informed Care; Models of Addiction Treatment
Subjects:Medical Sciences > Health
Medical Sciences > Mental health
Social Sciences > Social psychology
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Nursing and Human Sciences
Copyright Information:© 2018 The Authors
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
Funders:Irish Research Council
ID Code:22939
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 14:20 by Gerard Moore . Last Modified 21 Aug 2019 08:45

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