Tuesday 12th June, 12-1pm
Getting the best bang for the buck: an analysis of needle and syringe provision
Prof Carla Treloar, NCHSR Deputy Director
Carla's research interests are in the fields of hepatitis C and injecting drug use. She is a primarily qualitative researcher and is grounded in the discipline of health psychology. However, Carla constantly seeks to work across methods and disciplines. In particular, she sees it essential to work towards blending the insights that an individual-based discipline like health psychology can provide when issues such as hepatitis C and illicit drug use are considered in social, legal and political contexts. Read more...
Providing sterile needles and syringes to people who inject drugs has been a mainstay of HIV and hepatitis C responses in Australia. However, as the hepatitis C epidemic matures and the needle and syringe program (NSP) celebrates decades of operation, questions have been asked regarding the most effective operation of the NSP. Is the aim of the NSP primarily the distribution of injecting equipment? How does the NSP sector respond to the existing and emergent literature regarding the range of other factors influencing injecting practice?
This project is conducted in partnership with a local health authority to examine the mix of NSP service provision operating in the area against the stated aims of the NSP. We have conducted a costing study to determine the relative cost (per needle/syringe) of each mode of NSP service provision. Data, routinely collected by frontline NSP staff, has been examined to identify activities beyond equipment provision that may better support the health and wellbeing of NSP clients. We have developed a methodological (including market segmentation notions from
social marketing) and conceptual (including the importance of trust in providing effective health services) approach to the next aspect of this project which will examine the spread of needs of NSP clients and the range of possible responses to meet those needs.
In this seminar, Carla will outline the background to this project as well as its various elements and provide an overview of how we plan to approach the next challenging phase of this project. Overall, we aim to provide some specific recommendations to assist the NSP sector in structuring its operations during the next decade.