Asking young Aboriginal people who use illicit drugs about their healthcare preferences using audio-computer-assisted self-interviewing

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Drug and Alcohol Review, 2019, 38 (5), pp. 482 - 493
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs Introduction and Aims: Substance use significantly contributes to increasing the disease burden experienced by young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Aboriginal) Australians. Little is known about the primary healthcare needs of young Aboriginal people who use drugs. The aim of this study was to pilot Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI) as a method of asking young Aboriginal people who use illicit drugs about their health concerns and service preferences, in inner-Sydney, New South Wales. Design and Methods: We employed a sequential mixed methods exploratory study design. Qualitative data was collected using a focus group and in-depth interviews. These findings informed the development of the ACASI survey, which asked questions on substance use, health concerns, health service usage, barriers and preferences for services. Recruitment sites included youth and health services. Qualitative results were analysed thematically, and survey results using descriptive statistics. Results: Eight people participated in the focus group and two in in-depth interviews. Of the 38 survey respondents, 68% reported illicit drug use. Reported barriers to service access included waiting time and services seeming unfriendly or not understanding Aboriginal people. Participants expressed preferences for Aboriginal-friendly health services that provide internet access, literacy skill development and opportunities to learn about Aboriginal culture. Participants found the ACASI survey user-friendly. Discussion and Conclusions: This is the first report describing health concerns and service preferences of young Aboriginal people who use illicit drugs. The ACASI survey appears to be an appropriate and efficient approach to giving a voice to young Aboriginal people.
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