Journal of Tropical Psychology

Articles

Screening and assessment instruments for use in Indigenous-specific alcohol and drug treatment rehabilitation

Anne Stephensa1 c1, India Bohannaa2, Deborah Grahama3 and Alan R. Clougha4

a1 The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia

a2 School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

a3 Department of Psychology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

a4 Community-based Health Promotion and Prevention Studies Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia

Abstract

Objective: The study's aim was to review instruments suitable for assessing Australian Indigenous clients’ treatment needs, and changes in wellbeing while receiving treatment for substance misuse at a culturally competent residential setting in north Queensland, Australia.

Method: Searches of electronic databases, previously published reviews and websites was conducted. Instruments were selected according to their use in alcohol and drug treatment, developed for and/or validated with Australian Indigenous populations and applicability to measuring wellbeing.

Findings: Forty instruments were identified and their characteristics summarised according to five descriptive categories: (1) evidence of psychometric utility and previous use in alcohol and drug treatment settings, (2) developed for, used with, and/or validated specifically for Australian Indigenous populations, (3) a flexible administrative method of self-report and/or interview, (4) an administration time of less than 20 minutes and (5) freely accessible in the public domain.

Conclusions: Few instruments were found to have been validated specifically for use with Australian Indigenous people for use in drug and alcohol treatment. In order to measure wellbeing change and effective treatment, it may be possible to appropriately modify mainstream instruments, however, validation and sensitivity assessment of instruments for use with Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, is urgently required.

Keywords:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians;
  • drug and alcohol rehabilitation;
  • wellbeing;
  • psychometric instruments;
  • therapeutic community;
  • review

Correspondence

c1 address for correspondence: Anne Stephens The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, Australia 4870, Email: anne.stephens@jcu.edu.au