Technology, Day 2, Track 1, 14:00-15:30

Created by
Azucena Avalos Jara, MSc Barak Shapira, Ph.D., Dr. Yatan Pal Singh Balhara
Publication Date
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ISSUP Events

Presented as part of the Uniting the global community to face the challenge of addiction event, in-person on 13th May, 2022

Presentations:

  • Remote implementation of Lions Quest Family Connection during the COVID-19 pandemic - Azucena Avalos Jara, MSc
  • Transformation of SUD treatment services during COVID-19 - A lasting change? - Barak Shapira, Ph.D.
  • Leveraging digital health to strengthen the capacity of addiction professionals in response to the COVID -19 pandemic: Initiatives and experience from Southeast Asia region - Dr. Yatan Pal Singh Balhara

Abstracts: 

  • Remote implementation of Lions Quest Family Connection during the COVID-19 pandemic - Azucena Avalos Jara, MSc

Objective: Implement remotely Lions Quest Family Connection (FC) during the pandemic for improving the learning environment at students’ homes resembling the positive school climate.
Rationale: The pandemic made necessary to remotely implement the school substance use prevention program based un the Universal Prevention Curriculum in Peru. Among the components of the intervention, it was adapted and implemented CF, which allows improving family functioning, promoting a better environment for learning, and preventing risk behaviors and substance use.

Methodology: This case study was carried out in 19 Peruvian schools. The intervention population were families of the schoolchildren. FC is a program that seeks that student connect social and emotional skills with their families: The program was adapted following the UNODC guidelines, and with the supervision of an LQ Master Trainer. Nineteen modules of FC were implemented from June to December 2020.

Results: An online survey was made to schoolchildren before and after the intervention. At baseline, it was found that 8% perceived their families dysfunctional, 69% moderately dysfunctional, and 23% highly functional. After intervention, they reported 6%, 64% and 30% respectively.

Conclusions: It was possible to remotely adapt and implement FC and observe an improvement in the family functioning of Peruvian schoolchildren.

  • Transformation of SUD treatment services during COVID-19 - A lasting change? - Barak Shapira, Ph.D.

Introduction: We describe trends in the application of restrictions to face-to-face appointments and group meetings, and the adoption of telemedicine and take-home medication schemes within Medication-Assisted Treatment and inpatient services in Israel during the first 18 months of the pandemic (March 2020-August 2021). Moreover, we present trends in quarantine, and COVID-19 confirmed cases among enrolled patients.

Methods: A mail-based survey of 13 Medication-Assisted Treatment and 11 inpatient state-supervised centres. Data on COVID-19 cases and quarantines were gleaned from routine reports.

Results: While quarantines in Medication-Assisted Treatment centers increased in each COVID-19 wave, those in inpatient centres declined by 63% from December 2020 to April 2021. Restriction of services, use of telemedicine, and take-home schemes decreased between 2020 and 2021. Inpatient services were significantly disrupted during 2020, and ten of them (91%) reported limiting new patient admissions.

Conclusions: Although most centres in 2020 adopted telemedicine and take-home schemes, less than half of centres continued employing them in 2021. A decrease in the number of quarantined patients, and the low number (<1 patient per month) of confirmed COVID-19 patients reported in inpatient services, suggests a positive effect of on-site vaccination, and of conditioning admittance of patients with a confirmed, fully vaccinated status.

  • Leveraging digital health to strengthen the capacity of addiction professionals in response to the COVID -19 pandemic: Initiatives and experience from Southeast Asia region - Dr. Yatan Pal Singh Balhara

Objective: The presentation offers an overview of initiatives taken by our group for strengthening capacity of addiction professionals in Southeast Asia region following the COVID -19 pandemic.

Rationale: The COVID- 19 pandemic and restrictions imposed on travel, gatherings, conduct of scientific events, rendered existing systems of learning and training dysfunctional. The situation has not yet reverted to previous state.

Methodology: We leveraged the digital health to develop resources that could be accessed by addiction professionals from across Southeast Asia region. 

Result: An online learning hub on alcohol use disorders was created to meet increased demand for skill set to manage alcohol use problems. COVID-19 Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Resources (C-MHPSR) is an online resource centre for screening, diagnosis, and intervention for common mental and addictive disorders. With the support from WHO SEAR, a project to build an Online Resource Hub on Mental Health and Addictive Disorders for Southeast Asia has been launched. The hub will host resources that will be available to health care providers in region's member nations.

Conclusion: The initiatives targeted at addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic have offered innovative solutions that continue to shape the capacity building of addiction professionals going ahead.

Resource Language

English

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