Readiness to change is a predictor of reduced substance use involvement: Findings from a randomized controlled trial of patients attending South African emergency departments
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Background: This study examines whether readiness to change is a predictor of substance use outcomes and explores factors associated with RTC substance use among patients at South African emergency departments. Methods: We use data from participants enrolled into a randomized controlled trial of a brief substance use intervention conducted in three emergency departments in Cape Town, South Africa. Results: In adjusted analyses, the SOCRATES "Recognition" (B = 11.6; 95 % CI = 6.2-17.0) and "Taking Steps" score (B = -9.5; 95 % CI = -15.5- -3.5) as well as alcohol problems (B = 4.4; 95 % CI = 0.9-7.9) predicted change in substance use involvement at 3 month follow-up. Severity of depression (B = 0.2; 95 % CI = 0.1-0.3), methamphetamine use (B = 3.4; 95 % CI = 0.5- 6.3) and substance-related injury (B = 1.9; 95 % CI = 0.6-3.2) were associated with greater recognition of the need for change. Depression (B = 0.1; 95 % CI = 0.04 -0.1) and methamphetamine use (B = 2.3; 95 % CI = 0.1 -4.2) were also associated with more ambivalence about whether to change. Participants who presented with an injury that was preceded by substance use were less likely to be taking steps to reduce their substance use compared to individuals who did not (B = -1.7; 95 % CI = -5.0- -0.6). Conclusion: Findings suggest that brief interventions for this population should include a strong focus on building readiness to change substance use through motivational enhancement strategies. Findings also suggest that providing additional support to individuals with depression may enhance intervention outcomes. Trial registration: This trial registered with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry ( PACTR201308000591418 ) on 14/07/2013.
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