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Effectiveness of the behavior change intervention to improve harm reduction self-efficacy among people who inject drugs in Thailand

Authors Pawa D, Areesantichai C

Received 5 May 2016

Accepted for publication 20 June 2016

Published 6 September 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 247—252


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Duangta Pawa,1 Chitlada Areesantichai1,2

1College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, 2Drug Dependence Research Center WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Drug Dependence, Bangkok, Thailand

People who inject drugs (PWID) in Thailand reported unsafe injection practices resulting in injection-related health consequences. Harm reduction self-efficacy plays an important role and could be improved to reduce harm associated with injecting drugs. Evidence-based interventions targeting PWID are needed. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the behavior change intervention within the PWID population.
Methods: The behavior change intervention, Triple-S, was designed to improve harm reduction self-efficacy among PWID. This quasi-experimental study was a pre- and post-comparison with a control group design. Participants were PWID, aged 18–45 years, and located in Bangkok. Changes in harm reduction self-efficacy of the intervention group were compared with the control group using paired and independent t-test.
Results: Most of PWID were male (84%), had a secondary school and lower education (71%), were single, and had a mean age of 41 years. They had been injecting drugs for an average of 20 years, and the median of drug injections per week was ten times in the past month. Pre- and post-intervention effects were measured and results showed that the intervention group reported improvement in harm reduction self-efficacy in negative emotional conditions (P=0.048).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that Triple-S intervention can significantly improve harm reduction self-efficacy in negative emotional conditions. The results may suggest the importance of behavior change intervention, especially when integrated with services provided by drop-in centers. The intervention can be further developed to cover other harm reduction behaviors and improve harm reduction self-efficacy.

Keywords: drug injection, harm reduction, self-efficacy, behavior change, drug use, substance abuse

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