The current model of nursing within international addiction services has been described as task oriented and reactive. Yet, it is known that nursing models should be led by client need and operate within the domain of the client and their wider environment. The aim of this study was to address this gap within addiction nursing and to develop an evidence-based addiction nursing model.
To objectively assess the needs of clients, a cross-sectional survey was implemented within a representative selection of six drug treatment clinics and a sample of clients in receipt of opiate agonist treatment in Dublin, Ireland. The Opiate Treatment Index with the General Health Questionnaire embedded was used to measure heroin use, polydrug use, infectious disease risk, physical health, psychological adjustment, criminality and social well-being. To develop the addiction model, a mapping of relevant features of potential nursing models was conducted by nurses working in addiction services.
The key finding from the client assessments was a lack of psychological adjustment; a cutoff score of 4 was recommended. The mean score among women was 11 (95% CI [8, 14]), and that among men was 8 (95% CI [6, 10]). Findings from the mapping of models highlighted the benefits of the BRENDA, FRAMES, and Tidal models. A focus on practical implementation and measurable outcomes was stressed. Results informed the development of the Healthy Addiction Treatment Recovery Model. The model refocused services on clients' objective needs and eradicated entrenched practices.