Title

Assessing Need for Primary Care Services at a Needle Exchange Program: Safe Recovery

Date of Publication

2018

Project Team

Ellen Long-Middleton, Deborah Wachtel

Abstract

Assessing Need for Primary Care Services at a Needle Exchange Program: Safe Recovery

Catherine Hinojosa

Purpose. Current estimates suggest that more than 15 million people worldwide inject drugs. Their mortality rate is 15 times higher than the general population, and despite their increased healthcare needs, their poor access to primary healthcare services is well documented. Providing primary care services within a harm reduction program, holds the potential to increase healthcare access in individuals who inject drugs. Anecdotal evidence exists that primary care services are desirable at Safe Recovery Needle Exchange Program. This study was designed to determine the feasibility of integrating primary care services into this program by performing a needs assessment of 1) Clients’ perceptions of need for onsite primary care services, and 2) Administrator/staff’s perceptions of need for onsite primary care services.

Methods. A 35-item written survey was drafted for use in a culturally diverse sample of clients ages 18 to 65. The survey was used to assess clients’ perceptions of need for onsite primary care services. A 10-item survey was created to assess administrator and staff’s perceptions of need for onsite primary care services. The results of the survey were analyzed through content analysis of qualitative responses.

Results Eighty two percent clients were willing to see a primary care provider if one were available on-site. Out of these clients, only 66% had seen a primary health care provider for a routine examination in recent years. Barriers to accessing health were lack of time 44% and lack of transportation 42%, respectively. One hundred percent of staff members believe that Safe Recovery would be an ideal location for primary care services.

Conclusions The findings suggest a need for onsite primary care services at the Safe Recovery Needle Exchange Program.


Document Type

Project

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