Journal of Applied Medical Sciences

Evaluation of care services provided to female patients by Drug Addiction Department: a national explorative survey

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  • Abstract

    Background: Drug abusing women are one of the key customers due to their vulnerability directly linked to biological, genetics, psychological and social characteristics. Objectives: This is an exploratory research aimed to determine what are the most significant factors that would improve the access to the Drug Addiction Department and their adherence. Material and Methods: A 16 item self-administered questionnaire was assembled. Each item was scored on a 1 to 7 scale (Likert scale). The questionnaire was administered to women accessing a sample of Italian Drug Addiction Department. Results: A total of 299 women took part at this exploratory survey. Assurance of the protection of the privacy (mean 6.5) was considered to be the most important item at the time of the first access at the Service, followed by the availability of specific admission gender-oriented programmes (mean 5.5). At the treatment phase, the availability of specific support for women to have a baby was highly scored (mean 6.4), as well as a support for the management of eating disorders (mean 5.9). The interviewed women scored (mean 6.1) the item regarding the presence of the parents as being important only when a minor was involved or there was a suicide risk (mean 6.0); a criminal setting was considered less important (mean 4.8). According to the interviewees, the partner should be involved mainly in cases of pregnancy (mean 6.2), when there are minors involved, and when the partner is a drug abuser. The key factor causing the abandonment or the delayed access to the service was the fear of losing a child or being reported to the police. Overall the level of satisfaction expressed by the women involved was scored as good (mean 5.8). Conclusion: The outcomes are: 1) assurance of the protection of subject privacy from the initial access until their dismissal; 2) provision of specific supports, availability of a gynaecologist in case of pregnancy, specifically for women willing to become pregnant; 3) the fear of losing their sons is the main reason causing the delayed access to the care services or, even more important, their abandon.