Exploring the baseline knowledge and experience of healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom on Novel Psychoactive Substances
Objective: This survey aimed to explore baseline knowledge and experience on Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) of healthcare professionals (HCPs) from different disciplines in the United Kingdom. Methods: Seventy paper questionnaires were disseminated in 2017 within continuing education events to pharmacists, nurses and general practitioners (GPs). Additionally, 127 online surveys were completed using the Qualtrics platform by other HCPs and mental health nurses in six UK independent mental health hospitals long-stay in-patient rehabilitation services. Two educational sessions involving pharmacists and GPs were also held in late 2017 and mid-2018 and impact was evaluated against baseline knowledge of NPS. Evaluation forms were handed out at the end of the education events to garner feedback, especially on areas for improvement for future sessions. Statistical analysis of the data was undertaken using SPSS (V.25). Results: Most HCPs reported only ‘basic’ to ‘intermediate’ NPS knowledge. Substance misuse service staff felt more informed, were more often consulted, and had greater confidence regarding NPS compared to hospital and primary care professionals. A negative association was found between the age of the HCP and knowledge of NPS. Most participants expressed a need for regular training and updates as insufficient NPS-related information is currently received. Conclusions: An improvement within the self-reported knowledge of HCPs on NPS is evident in comparison to previous studies. Continued education of HCPs on NPS is fundamental for the provision of improved harm reduction services which can enhance the overall care for NPS service users.
Published inBrain Sciences
RelationsSchool of Health and Social Work
School of Life and Medical Sciences