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Annotated bibliography: Telephone counselling

Bassilios, B., Pirkis, J., King, K., Fletcher, J., Blashki, G., & Burgess, P. (2014). Evaluation of an Australian primary care telephone cognitive behavioural therapy pilot. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 20(1), 62.

This paper discusses a telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy pilot project which was trialed from July 2008 to June 2010, using an Australian Government-funded primary mental health care program. Uptake, sociodemographic and clinical profile of consumers, precise nature of services delivered, and consumer outcome were all assessed using a web-based minimum datasets. Project officers and mental health professionals were interviewed to obtain details about the implementation of the pilot. In total, 548 general practitioners referred 908 consumers, who received 6607 sessions (33% via telephone) by 180 mental health professionals. Clients were mostly females with an average age of 37 years and had a diagnosis of depressive and/or anxiety disorders. Both telephone and face-to-face sessions of 60 minutes in length were run, delivering behavioural and cognitive therapy, often at no cost to clients. Several issues were identified by project officers and mental health professionals, during implementation. Face-to-face treatment is usually preferred by providers and clients, but having the option of telephone counselling is valued, especially for clients who would not otherwise access psychological services. Evidence from the positive client outcomes supports the practice of offering a choice of face-to-face or telephone counseling or a combination of the two. A limitation of this study was the absence of a non-treatment control group.

Best, D., Hall, K., Guthrie, A., Abbatangelo, M., Hunter, B., & Lubman, D. (2015). Development and implementation of a structured intervention for alcohol use disorders for telephone helpline services. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 33(1), 118.

This article details a pilot study of a six-session intervention for harmful alcohol use via a 24-hour alcohol and other drug (AOD) helpline. It aimed to evaluate the viability of telephone-delivered intervention for AOD treatment. The intervention included practice features from motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural therapy, and node-link mapping. It was evaluated using a case file audit (n=30) and a structured telephone interview a month after the final session (n=22). Psychological distress in the participants was significantly reduced and average scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) dropped by more than 50%. The results indicate that telephone intervention offers effective and efficient treatment for individuals with alcohol use disorders who are unable or unwilling to access face-to-face treatment.

Constant, H. M. R. M., Figueiró, L. R., Tatay, C. M., Signor, L., & Fernandes, S. (2016). Alcohol User Profile after a Brief Motivational Intervention in Telephone Follow-up: Evidence Based on Coping Strategies. Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 4 (254), 2.

The benefits of intervention in alcohol abuse varies among individuals in particular with relapse. This research studied alcohol cessation in 120 people over a 6 month period and evaluated the effect of brief motivational interviewing. The study surveyed 120 participants over the phone using the Coping Behaviours Inventory as a measure. The study included a control group of 50 participants who did not receive any intervention. Almost all those who received telephone counselling had quit drinking alcohol at the 6 month period, whereas most of those in the control group did not stop drinking alcohol. The study suggests this may be due to motivation to change and social support. A longer term study was recommended.

Gates, P. (2015). The effectiveness of helplines for the treatment of alcohol and illicit substance use. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 21(1), 18.

While tobacco helplines or quitlines are thought to be effective, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of helplines which treat other substance use. This study reviewed literature on illicit drug or alcohol (IDA) helplines to address this gap. Five databases were searched for literature published in English, which involved the use of a telephone counselling helpline for the treatment of illicit drug or alcohol use. The author excluded review papers, opinion pieces, letters or editorials, case studies, published abstracts and posters. The initial search identified 2178 articles which were reduced to 36 articles after removing duplicates and those meeting the exclusion criteria. Descriptive information was provided in 29 articles about 19 different IDA helplines internationally. Call rates in these services varied from 3.7 to over 23,000 calls per month. Evaluative information was found in nine articles covering eight different IDA helplines, four articles described an evaluation of treatment outcomes against a control group and five articles contained details on treatment satisfaction or service utilisation. The study indicates that there is evidence that these services are effective. The studies in the review had poor consistency in their measures with few using randomized control groups. Limitations included that the articles were not evaluated by two independent researchers and the authors of the articles were not contacted for further information.

Haregu, T. N., Chimeddamba, O., & Islam, M. R. (2015). Effectiveness of Telephone-Based Therapy in the Management of Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. SM Journal of Depression Research and Treatment, 1(2), 1006.

This review was conducted as a gap was identified in systematic reviews identifying the effectiveness of telephone-based therapy for the treatment of depression. A total of nine papers were identified as meeting the selection criteria and were reviewed by the authors. It concluded that telephone counselling delivered by experienced and trained therapists is effective in treating depression and it suggested it is more effective than face-to-face but further studies are recommended.

Heinemans, N., Toftgård, M., Damström-Thakker, K., & Galanti, M. R. (2014). An evaluation of long-term changes in alcohol use and alcohol problems among clients of the Swedish National Alcohol Helpline. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 9(1), 22.

This study evaluated alcohol reduction and AUDIT scores in participants utilising a standalone telephone counselling service in the form of an alcohol hotline, employing trained counsellors. The data was collected by telephone survey from 191 participants at the first call and 12 months later. Change in AUDIT score was used as the primary outcome and the number of counselling sessions defined the exposure intensity. Most participants reduced their alcohol intake and AUDIT score in the year of the study and 50% reported better mental health. These figures were supported by other studies. They also cited a study which indicated that telephone counselling sessions with one face-to-face consultation had significantly better outcomes than face-to-face consultations alone.

Le Gresley, H., Darling, C., & Reddy, P. (2013). New South Wales rural and remote communities’ perception of mental health telephone support services. In 12th National Rural Health Conference, http://nrha. org. au/12nrhc/wpcontent/uploads/2013/06/Le-Gresley-Helen_ppr. pdf.

This study examined perceived barriers to telephone counseling in rural communities. The data was collected using surveys and there were 213 participants. Most of the participants felt it was a cost-cutting option which was not as effective as face-to-face counselling. Cost of accessing the services using a mobile phone was also quoted as being a barrier, as was being placed on hold or not getting through and having to repeat their story to different therapists. Poor marketing of the different services led to confusion on which was the best service to access.

Tse, S., Campbell, L., Rossen, F., Wang, C. W., Jull, A., Yan, E., & Jackson, A. (2013). Face-to-face and telephone counseling for problem gambling: A pragmatic multisite randomized study. Research on Social Work Practice, 23(1), 57.

This was a randomised study which aimed to compare the effectiveness of telephone and face-to-face counselling in treating problematic gambling. Psychological interventions were provided to 92 participants either by telephone or face-to-face over a 3 month period. Data was collected using surveys and questionnaires and significant changes were found over time in hours and money spent gambling and gambling beliefs. The study indicated that both face-to face and telephone counselling were equally effective in reducing problematic gambling. Limitations included the lack of a control group and the high rate of attrition of the participants, with only 27 completing the program.

Van Horn, D. H. A., Drapkin, M., Lynch, K. G., Rennert, L., Goodman, J. D., Thomas, T., … McKay, J. R. (2015). Treatment choices and subsequent attendance by substance-dependent patients who disengage from intensive outpatient treatment. Addiction Research and Theory, 23(5), 391.

This study examined continual engagement rates in alternative treatment options in patients who had previously disengaged from intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Alternatives included return to IOP, individual psychotherapy, telephone counselling, medication management and no treatment. Of the 96 people contacted 6 chose telephone counselling and there were no differences seen in engagement with any of the treatment options. The limitations included the very small sample size and that participants were contacted by a researcher with whom they had had no previous engagement and asked to select a treatment option.

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Annotated bibliography: Comorbidity

Bonevski, B., Regan, T., Paul, C., Baker, A. L., & Bisquera, A. (2014). Associations between alcohol, smoking, socioeconomic status and comorbidities: evidence from the 45 and Up Study. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(2), 169-176.

This study aimed to examine if there were any links between mental illness and low socioeconomic status (SES) and concurrent tobacco and alcohol consumption. Data was obtained from the 45 and Up Study of 267153 adults aged over 45 in New South Wales, who completed a survey assessing alcohol, smoking, psychological distress, treatment for anxiety or depression and a range of SES factors. The research found strong links between low SES, treatment for anxiety or depression, psychological distress and concurrent tobacco smoking and alcohol misuse. It recommended a move away from the silo approach of addressing tobacco, alcohol and mental health, as it has proved ineffective in reducing the high smoking rates among people experiencing mental illness or seeking help for alcohol and other drug problems. It suggested a comprehensive and holistic approach was needed in treating these people. It also recommended more research to explore the potential for the community service sectors to provide treatment for people with multiple health and social concerns.

Brière, F. N., Rohde, P., Seeley, J. R., Klein, D., & Lewinsohn, P. M. (2014). Comorbidity between major depression and alcohol use disorder from adolescence to adulthood. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 55(3), 526-533.

The aim of this study was to examine the development of comorbidity between alcohol use disorder (AUD) and major depressive disorder (MDD). It focussed on the relationship between the disorders at different time periods in adolescence and young adulthood. Participants were interviewed at ages 16, 17, 24 and 30. There were 861 participants who were predominantly white and equally split between male and female. Comorbidity was found to be low in adolescence but increased in adulthood, with most individuals with one disorder having the other. The exception was women with MDD. Adolescents with AUD were at increased risk of developing MDD and young adults with MDD were more likely to develop AUD. People diagnosed with comorbidity of MDD and AUD had an increased risk of alcohol dependence, suicide attempts and life dissatisfaction than those diagnosed with either MDD or AUD. Lifetime rates of comorbid MDD and AUD were higher than in previous studies and the report recommended screening for the other disorder at regular intervals when an individual presented with either MDD or AUD.

Carter, M., Fisher, C., & Isaac, M. (2013). Recovery from comorbidity: depression or anxiety with alcohol misuse—a systematic and integrative supradisciplinary review and critical appraisal. SAGE Open, 3(4), 2158244013512133.

Comorbidity of mood and anxiety disorders with alcohol misuse is not unusual. The study conducted a systematic literature review across different disciplines and research methodologies. Inconsistencies were found in definitions and measurements in the literature reviewed. Little evidence was found to support treatment plans. Competing paradigms in mental illness and addiction pose a barrier to progress and consumers frequently fall between the gaps. Clinicians feel undertrained and may be judgmental or unrecognise comorbidity, particularly in high risk populations. It suggested a consideration of different combinations of comorbidity and other factors such as social support, housing and employment which are crucial to recovery. It also recommended a need to build on the limited evidence and generalisation that was available.

Debell, F., Fear, N. T., Head, M., Batt-Rawden, S., Greenberg, N., Wessely, S., & Goodwin, L. (2014). A systematic review of the comorbidity between PTSD and alcohol misuse. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49(9), 1401-1425.

This systematic review was performed to ascertain the prevalence of comorbidity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol misuse and any associations between the conditions. The literature reviewed was limited to that published between 2007 and July 2012.   A total of 42 papers were included in the review, after reviewing 620 abstracts. The incidence of PTSD comorbid to alcohol misuse ranged from 2 to 63% and alcohol abuse comorbid to PTSD 9.8 to 61.3%, with most of the prevalence rates being greater than 10%. These results indicated a strong association between the disorders. Significant evidence was found for association between alcohol misuse and numbing symptoms and hyperarousal. The evidence from the review supports the need for screening comorbidity in individuals who are known to have PTSD or alcohol misuse.

Gorka, S. M., MacNamara, A., Aase, D. M., Proescher, E., Greenstein, J. E., Walters, R., … & Digangi, J. A. (2016). Impact of alcohol use disorder comorbidity on defensive reactivity to errors in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 30(7), 733.

Evidence suggests that people who suffer from both PTSD and alcohol use disorder (AUD) have a heightened defence reactivity. This then maintains both their drinking behaviours and their anxiety or hyperarousal symptoms. Few studies however, have established whether people with PTSD and AUD have greater defence reactivity than those with PTSD without AUD. The aim of this study was to test this hypothesis. Error–related negativity (ERN) was measured, which is increased in anxious individuals and is thought to reflect defence reactivity to errors. Participants consisted of 66 male military veterans who were split into three groups:

  1. Controls with no PTSD or AUD
  2. Those with PTSD and no AUD
  3. Those with both PTSD and AUD

Those from the third group exhibited heightened ERN, whereas those in the first and second groups did not. This suggests that PTSD with AUD is a unique subtype of PTSD, with the comorbidity of AUD enhancing the defence reactivity in people with PTSD. The limitations in the study include the group size and demographics.

Leventhal, A. M., & Zvolensky, M. J. (2015). Anxiety, depression, and cigarette smoking: A transdiagnostic vulnerability framework to understanding emotion–smoking comorbidity. Psychological Bulletin, 141(1), 176.

The research on comorbidity between emotional disorders and cigarette smoking has centred on the symptoms of anxiety and depression rather than clinical and theoretical advancement. The researchers who performed this study hypothesized that emotional vulnerabilities or behavioural traits, which reflect maladaptive emotional responses link various depressive and anxiety disorders to smoking. They did a literature review on three emotional vulnerabilities implicated in smoking:

  1. Anhedonia (Anh.)
  2. Anxiety sensitivity (AS): fear of anxiety related sensations
  3. Distress tolerance (DT): ability to withstand distressing situations

They concluded that the three collectively form a foundation for multiple emotional disorders; amplify the anticipated and actual affect enhancing properties of smoking; promote progression towards the smoking pathway and therefore are promising targets for smoking intervention. They used the information collected to propose a model linking emotional psychopathology to smoking:

  • Anh. amplifies smoking’s actual and expected pleasurable effects
  • AS increases smoking’s anxiety reducing effects
  • Low DT increases smoking’s distress reducing effects.

Together these factors reinforce smoking for individuals suffering from emotional disorders, which increases their risk of smoking initiation, progression, maintenance, not stopping, avoidance and relapse. They conclude that the results can be used for clinical and scientific implications that can be expanded to other comorbidities.

Riga, D., Schmitz, L. J., Van Der Harst, J. E., Van Mourik, Y., Hoogendijk, W. J., Smit, A. B., … & Spijker, S. (2014). A sustained depressive state promotes a guanfacine reversible susceptibility to alcohol seeking in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology, 39(5), 1115-1124.

The reported rates of comorbidity between AUD and MDD are high, but preclinical models studying how primary depression affects secondary AUD are lacking. This results in inadequate testing of drug treatment. The authors combined social defeat-induced persistent stress (SDPS) with operant self-administration (SA) concepts to assess causality between the disorders. They used guanfacine, a drug used to reduce cravings in humans against SDPS-induced change of operant alcohol SA. They socially defeated and isolated rats for at least 9 weeks, during which time they assessed depressive symptomology. The rats were then exposed to 5 months of operant SA concept, studying acquisition, motivation, extinction and cue-induced reinstatement of alcohol seek. Then at 6 months they measured the effects of the drug on motivation and relapse. The SDPS rats demonstrated significant changes to social and cognitive behaviour several months after defeat and increased motivation to obtain alcohol. Guanfacine reduced the effects on motivation caused by SDPS. The authors state that their model mimics the symptomology of a sustained depressive state and resultant vulnerability to alcohol abuse and that SDPS is strongly associated with alcohol intake and relapse. They argue that the study indicated that guanfacine has potential as a new treatment for patients with MDD and AUD comorbidity, as it is effective in reducing the sensitivity to alcohol and alcohol-induced stimuli. The limitation to this study is that it was performed on rats so may not translate to humans.

Scott, C. K., Dennis, M. L., & Lurigio, A. J. (2015). Comorbidity among female detainees in drug treatment: an exploration of internalizing and externalizing disorders. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 38(1), 35.

This study examined the incidence and comorbidity of major psychiatric disorders in female prisoners who were participating in drug treatment programs in a large American prison. The Needs Inventory was used, which includes a large mixture of methods to capture demographics, psychological problems, substance use and drug treatment histories and their criminal thinking tendencies. Two hundred and fifty-three women participated in the study, who were then split into three groups: those with substance use disorders (SUD) but no psychiatric disorders (24%); those with one psychiatric disorder (34%) and those with both internalising and externalising comorbidities (42%). Over 75% of the participants had comorbid psychiatric disorders and SUD, which are linked to lower self-esteem, increased drug use severity and levels of criminal thinking. The authors concluded that female prisoners in drug treatment programs need interventions focussing on both criminal and psychiatric recidivism, both whilst in prison and in the post-release phase. Limitations in the study are that it is a female only study and results may differ in a male population, and it was limited to those in drug treatment.

Emmerik‐van Oortmerssen, K., Glind, G., Koeter, M. W., Allsop, S., Auriacombe, M., Barta, C., … & Casas, M. (2014). Psychiatric comorbidity in treatment‐seeking substance use disorder patients with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: results of the IASP study. Addiction, 109(2), 262-272.

Previous studies have indicated the attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is highly comorbid with SUD, and that both ADHD and SUD are associated with other comorbid conditions including mental health disorders. The studies show that the disorders both independently and together increase the risk of comorbidity with psychiatric disorders. The objective of the study was to examine comorbidity patterns in adults seeking treatment for SUD, with or without ADHD. Different subtypes of ADHD and comorbidity patterns were examined, along with differences in gender and primary substance of abuse. They focussed on MDD, current (hypo)manic episode (HME), antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD). They screened 3558 people from 47 centres in 10 countries, with a final group of 1205 participants. They found that MDD, BPD, ASPD and HME were all more prevalent in participants with ADHD than those without. Both BPD and MDD had increased comorbidity when alcohol was the primary substance of abuse as opposed to drugs. Comorbidity differed between ADHD subtypes with increased MDD in the inattentive and combined subtypes, increased HME and APSD in the hyperactive/impulsive and combined subtypes and increased BPD in all subtypes. The incidence of at least one comorbid disorder was 75% in those with ADHD, compared to 37% in those without. They concluded that treatment-seeking SUD patients with ADHD are at a very high risk of developing psychiatric disorders. The limitations of the study include the data collected was all self-reported and standardised measurement tools were not used between the different centres.

All the articles except the first one are Open Access and can be read by clicking on their titles. The top one is available from our library database to all staff and volunteers at Healthy Options Australia.

 


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January Professional Development

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library.

Online resources

Webpage

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet contains useful resources about Indigenous health

Useful resources

Drug and Alcohol Research Connections. December 2017

NIDA Notes. The latest in NIDA drug abuse research

 Read – professional reading

Available from the library database

  • Gomes de Matos, E., Kraus, L., Hannemann, T., Soellner, R., & Piontek, D. (2017). Cross‐cultural variation in the association between family’s socioeconomic status and adolescent alcohol use. Drug and Alcohol Review, 36(6), 797-804.
  • Hallgren, K. A., Dembe, A., Pace, B. T., Imel, Z. E., Lee, C. M., & Atkins, D. C. (2018). Variability in motivational interviewing adherence across sessions, providers, sites, and research contexts. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 84(1), 30-41.
  • Harris, N., Miles, D., Howard, E., Zuchowski, I., King, J., Dhephasadin Na Ayudhaya, P., & … Puthantharayil, G. (2017). International Student Exchange in Australian Social Work Education. Australian Social Work, 70(4), 429-440.
  • Laux, J. M., DuFresne, R., Dari, T., & Juhnke, G. A. (2017). Substance Use Assessment Instruments: 13 Years Later. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 38(2), 115-124.
  • Li, W. W., & Miller, D. J. (2017). The impact of coping and resilience on anxiety among older Australians. Australian Journal of Psychology, 69(4), 263-272.

Open Access Articles

Open Access Journal

NADA Advocate is published four times a year, raises significant issues relating to the NSW non-government alcohol and other drug sector, and develops knowledge about, and connections within the sector.

 e-Book of the month

Free to download for all HOA staff from the library catalogue on work computers

Reiter, M. D. (2015). Substance Abuse and the Family. New York, NY: Routledge.

Substance Abuse and the Family demonstrates what it means to view addiction through a systems lens by considering biology and genetics, family relationships, and larger systems. Throughout the text, Michael D. Reiter shows how to examine a person’s predilection to become addicted, his or her social environment around substance use, the functionality of his or her family, and various treatment options. Chapters are organized around two sections: Assessment and Treatment. The first section pays attention to how the family system organizes around substance use and abuse. Here family roles, culture, and other issues such as family violence and resilience are covered. Two chapters are also included on the neuroscience and genetics of addiction, with contributions from Jaime L. Tartar and Christina Gobin. There are also chapters on working with partial systems, using genograms, and working in a culturally-sensitive way (with contributions from Dalis Arismendi), with culture-specific consideration paid to African American, Hispanic and Latin American, Asian American, and Native American families. The second half of the book explores what a systems orientation means in practice and goes over self-help groups for individuals and families. An overview of the major family therapy theories is included, which examines intergenerational, experiential, communication approaches, strategic, systemic, and post-modern models. A separate chapter examines issues faced by both youth and adult children of alcoholics. Intended for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as beginning practitioners, this text is one of the most penetrating and in-depth examinations on the topic available.

(copied from EBSCO site)

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

National comorbidity guidelines free online training and website

The training program consists of 10 training modules that can be completed in any order. Registrants can choose which modules to engage in based on interest and experience. Those wishing to receive a certificate of completion must complete all modules (in any order) and successfully complete all quizzes.

At the end of each module, registrants will be presented with a quiz. All questions must be answered correctly before the module is completed, but there is no limit to how many times the quiz can be taken. Incorrect answers will refer participants to relevant sections of the Guidelines website.

At the completion of all modules, training participants will receive a certificate of completion.

(copied from National Comorbidity website)

Journal club TBA

Attend – conferences 

The 2018 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will be held on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 May with optional workshops on Wednesday 30 May at QT Gold Coast.

The 4th annual conference will cover a broad range of topics including prevention, treatment, systematic responses, behaviours, mental health and harm reduction in relation to all types of addiction.  Emerging trends and the various addictive habits of alcohol and other drugs, gambling and the internet are also covered.

Early bird registration from $599-899.

Write – presentations and papers

NADA invites abstract submissions for oral papers, workshops, panel presentations and poster presentations for the 2018 NADA Conference: Exploring therapeutic interventions.

This is an opportunity for you to showcase your innovative practice and research addressing the diverse and complex needs of people accessing AOD services.

Download the Call for Abstracts – information flyer for further details.

Abstracts must be submitted by Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 5pm EST to conference@nada.org.au

The NADA Conference will be held on 7-8 June 2018 at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney.

(copied from NADA website)

Listen – podcasts, webinars

Insight presentation recordings available now on YouTube

The Struggle of Mental Health TED Playlist

People who have struggled with mental illness tell their stories in this series of 10 talks.

Assessed learning – short courses, certificates, diplomas, bachelors, post-grad

Tools for Hard Conversations

Date: 11 January 2018 Facilitator: Kath Reid Workshop Duration: 1 day Workshop Time: 09:30 — 16:30 Early Bird Rate: $220.00 for registration received by 25/12/2017 Fees: $240.00 including morning tea and lunch, statement of attendance and all associated material and handouts. Workshop Venue: Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room, Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

(copied from Lighthouse website)

Registration/more information


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Mental health in rural and remote communties: annotated bibliography

Allen, J., Inder, K. J., Lewin, T. J., Attia, J., & Kelly, B. J. (2012). Social support and age influence distress outcomes differentially across urban, regional and remote Australia: an exploratory study. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 928.
The aim of this study was to examine whether increasing remoteness had any effect on psychological distress. 4219 people over 55 years were surveyed across New South Wales about their levels of social support, demographic details, remoteness and levels of psychological distress experienced. The report concluded that remoteness could reduce the levels of psychological distress associated with a lack of social support. This may be due to people living in remote areas having a higher level of self-sufficiency. The study was limited in that it only studied older people.
Blignault, I., Haswell, M., & Pulver, L. J. (2016). The value of partnerships: lessons from a multi‐site evaluation of a national social and emotional wellbeing program for Indigenous youth. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(S1).
This study provides the results of a three-year evaluation of SAM our way- a program that aimed to improve the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander living in remote and regional areas of Australia. Five out of the 14 sites were studied, selecting from diverse locations over several states and in depth case studies were performed. The best performing sites were those where strong local partnerships had been formed with the local Indigenous community. Several lessons were learned including the importance of program design and resourcing and ways of working. It was essential to build partnerships with the local community including training and engaging members and working consistently with them, taking things slowly. Evaluation is essential and needs to be built into the programs. Activities need to be engaging and, effective integrating with other programs and services.
Carey, T. A., Wakerman, J., Humphreys, J. S., Buykx, P., & Lindeman, M. (2013). What primary health care services should residents of rural and remote Australia be able to access? A systematic review of “core” primary health care services. BMC Health Services Research, 13(1), 178.
A systematic review was performed to address which primary healthcare services should be accessible to all Australians regardless of geography. It was done in response to the inequality in access to healthcare faced by those in remote and rural communities. It concluded that defining a list of core services was difficult but that they should be an appropriate fit for service and evidence-based. Policy makers, consumers, practitioners and researchers need to work together in developing them to ensure that they are affordable and accessible to all.
Inder, K. J., Handley, T. E., Fitzgerald, M., Lewin, T. J., Coleman, C., Perkins, D., & Kelly, B. J. (2012). Individual and district-level predictors of alcohol use: cross sectional findings from a rural mental health survey in Australia. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 586.
Excessive alcohol use has been cited as a problem in rural and remote Australia and this study aimed to examine the geographical variation in rates and the potential effects of socio-economic disadvantage, population change and remoteness from services in contributing to this disparity. A survey was performed on 1981 people randomly taken from the electoral role using the Australian Rural Mental Health Study. It found that gender, age, marital status and personality status were the biggest contributors to at risk alcohol use. Financial advantage and experiencing multiple recent adverse life events also contributed to increased alcohol use. Relatively few district-level factors were linked to increased alcohol consumption after controlling for other factors.
Inder, K. J., Handley, T. E., Johnston, A., Weaver, N., Coleman, C., Lewin, T. J., & Kelly, B. J. (2014). Determinants of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts: parallel cross-sectional analyses examining geographical location. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1), 208.
Suicide rates are consistently higher in rural than urban settings so this study aimed to examine if there were any differences in determinants of suicidal ideation and attempts between the areas. The main determinants were psychological distress and mental illness. Parallel cross-sectional analyses were performed using data from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (n=8463) and the Australian Rural and Mental Health Study (n=634). The former was under representative of rural and remote participants and the latter was over representative. Geographical location was not found to be associated with suicidal ideation or attempt, but socio-economic factors were significantly associated with higher rates of suicidality. Access to lethal means and isolation, resulting in not being found quickly may also affect the rate of suicidality. It stressed the importance of developing and evaluating targeted evidence-based intervention strategies for at risk groups.
Morandini, J. S., Blaszczynski, A., Dar‐Nimrod, I., & Ross, M. W. (2015). Minority stress and community connectedness among gay, lesbian and bisexual Australians: a comparison of rural and metropolitan localities. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(3), 260-266.
The aim of this study was to examine the impact of locality on minority stress experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) Australians. Increased stress and lack of community connectedness experienced by LGB individuals has been associated with increased depression, drug and alcohol use and suicidality. Data was collected by survey (n=1306) to assess minority stressors, connection with community and social isolation. The results were than analysed to assess the effect of locality on these stressors independent of gender, age, ethnicity, education and income. Those living in rural and remote areas and unexpectedly outer metropolitan areas experienced higher levels of stressors and high LGB disconnection than those living in inner metropolitan areas. Reluctance to disclose sexuality, including increased concealment of sexuality from friends and internalised homophobia in men were more common in rural and remote communities. This will put them at increased risk of psychiatric morbidity. It recommends health promotion in these communities that is aimed at reducing homophobia and discrimination and support services to assist those struggling with stigma and isolation.


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May e-book of the month

The Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders by Emmelcamp, P.M.G. & Ehring, T. (2014)

This is a comprehensive book which provides an overview of management and classification of anxiety disorders. It is well organised and spilt into sections covering:

  • Classification
  • Etiology
  • Specific disorders
  • Special populations
  • Prevention
  • Clinical assesment
  • Treatment
  • Clinical management of specific disorders
  • Clinical management of comorbidity
  • Approaches to improve effectiveness
  • Agenda for future research

It’s a book that can be dipped in and out of as needed or be read as a whole to provide the reader with a solid background on anxiety and its treatment and management.

This e-book is available free to access for Healthy Options staff and volunteers from the library using the organisation’s computers.