Social Workers' Beliefs towards Harm Reduction: A Cross-Sectional Study in Kathmandu, Nepal
Background: Social workers work directly with the substance abusers in the frontline level and use harm reduction principles. Currently, there are no studies conducted in Nepal concerning social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted which covered 101 social workers from NGOs currently involved in two components of harm reduction program. Substance Abuse Treatment Survey (SATS) scale was utilized which specifically explored social workers’ beliefs towards characteristics of substance users (BCU), beliefs towards substance abuse treatment options (SATB) and beliefs towards harm reduction (BHR). An analytical study was done to describe the association between the explanatory variables and social workers’ beliefs towards harm reduction by using univariate and multivariate ANOVA test. Fisher’s exact test was also used to test significant association between training in substance abuse and harm reduction and training sufficiency. Results: Most social workers were males and had previous drug use experience. Most of them had work experience in working with substance abusers and had received training in substance abuse field or harm reduction or both. Social workers had positive beliefs towards substance abuse treatment options and harm reduction whereas low beliefs towards characteristics of substance users. There was no significant association between training and beliefs towards harm reduction but, respondents who felt their training was sufficient had positive belief towards substance abuse treatment options than those who felt their training was insufficient. Conclusion: Social workers had positive beliefs towards harm reduction. Training was an important factor for social worker when working in harm reduction. A new approach in harm reduction program should focus on improving social workers’ perception towards the characteristics, habits, and attributes of substance-abusing individuals.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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