Evaluation of the substance abuse programme of the South Coast Recovery Centre, focusing on patients' satisfaction.
MetadataShow full item record
Substance abuse has a severe impact on the South African population. Various organizations, governmental and non-governmental, take on the challenge to assist in the treatment of substance abuse. Several gaps have been identified in dealing with substance abuse in South Africa. One of these gaps includes regular audits of treatment services and prevention programmes. One of the major concerns is that most primary prevention programmes appear to be implemented in the absence of evidence on their effectiveness and are mostly implemented on an ad hoc basis. The respondent organizations appear to display a poor understanding of evaluation. It was evident that there is a need for a systematic review of what works in the context of substance abuse prevention among the South African population as well as the development of an effective regulatory regime regarding primary prevention activities. Evaluation can be an important tool to provide monitoring, as well as a tool to identify strengths and weaknesses in treatment programmes. In light of the above, the South Coast Recovery Centre, a substance abuse treatment centre that operates in the private sector, was approached to evaluate the effectiveness of its treatment programme. The research focused on gaining insight into and exploring the strengths and weakness of the programme based on how patients experienced the programme and how satisfied they were with it. The use of multimethod approach which included positivist and interpretative approaches to evaluation was viewed as an appropriate method to use for the study in facilitating an understanding of the patient’s experience of the programme and how satisfied they were with the intervention they received. The study is both qualitative and quantitative in nature and used questionnaires and focus group interviews as data sources. All participants in the study were inpatients at the South Coast Recovery Centre. Frequency distributions, chi square analysis, as well as a thematic analysis were used to analyze the data of the study. The study concluded that patients were in general satisfied with the treatment programme. The programme provided opportunity for behavior changes and introspective learning. They were satisfied with professionals’ skills and behaviours, 6 types of interventions provided, efficacy and accessibility. Areas that patients were not satisfied with included: the facilitated involvement of relatives, the provision of information, and the large amount of residents in the programme. Recommendations were made with regards to programme improvement. The recommendations included the following: a. A coherent programme with clear links between outcome objectives and programme activities should be created. b. The number of counsellors in the programme should be reconsidered. c. The number of patients that should be allowed in the programme should be reconsidered. d. A platform for counsellors to deal with their personal emotions and counter transference should be created. e. Counsellors’ emotional involvement with patients should be addressed and exposed. f. More structured leisure activities that use interactive learning styles could be implemented in order to facilitate the learning of social skills. g. An awareness of possible comorbid mental disorders should be developed. h. Patients can be more involved with the cost aspect of the programme in order to facilitate more ownership of their treatment process. i. Provision should be made in the programme to allow for more involvement of relatives.