Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge Change in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Workers Following AOD Screening and Brief Intervention Training

  • Grant Christie
  • Stella Black
  • Lucy Dunbar
  • Justin Pulford
  • Amanda Wheeler


Adolescent mental health workers are generally poor at identifying and treating co-existing alcohol and other drug (AOD) disorder. This study aimed to evaluate the utility and acceptability of an AOD screening and brief intervention (BI) training package delivered to child and adolescent mental health workers and its impact on relevant attitudes, skills and knowledge. Quantitative data was collected before and after the BI training using a 55-item questionnaire. Focus groups explored issues around AOD screening and BI implementation in practice. The questionnaire and focus group were repeated 10 months later to ascertain change in behaviour. The BI training was well-received and led to improvements in attitudes, skills and knowledge around AOD screening and BI in youth mental health practitioners. Positive change in participants’ attitudes to performing screening and BI were demonstrated. Low response rates at follow-up limited analysis of behaviour change.


Substance-related disorders Screening Brief interventions Mental health services Adolescent 



This work was sponsored by the Werry Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health through an unrestricted research grant. We also acknowledge the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, who funded the development of the Substances and Choices Scale screening and outcome measurement instrument and support its availability via the website.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant Christie
    • 1
  • Stella Black
    • 2
  • Lucy Dunbar
    • 2
  • Justin Pulford
    • 3
  • Amanda Wheeler
    • 4
  1. 1.Community Alcohol and Drug Service Altered High Youth ServiceWaitemata District Health BoardAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Clinical Research & Resource Centre (CRRC)Waitemata District Health BoardAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research and the School of Population HealthUniversity of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  4. 4.Griffith Health Institute, Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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