Stigma, health worker attitudes and client outcomes in drug treatment

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The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2018) report into the impact of drug use on the burden of disease, reaffirms the need to reduce harms associated with drug use. Health workers’ attitudes and behaviours are important influences on client health outcomes. For stigmatised groups like drug users, implicit (automatic) and explicit (deliberate) attitudes of health workers may differentially influence their behaviour. Drug users can be challenging to work with, thus regular contact may reinforce stereotypes about them as ‘chaotic’ and ‘unmanageable’. However, medical/disease models of drug use may promote feelings of sympathy for drug users. This project will examine how health workers’ explicit and implicit attitudes differentially influence health outcomes for clients in drug treatment.
Supervisory team
Loren
Brener

Arts & Social Sciences
Centre for Social Research in Health
William
von Hippel

Science
Psychology
Carla
Treloar

Arts & Social Sciences
Centre for Social Research in Health
l.brener@unsw.edu.au