Tricia is a first-year PhD student at Middlesex University, receiving cross-institutional support from King’s College London. She is jointly supervised by Dr Tim Weaver (Middlesex University) and Dr Nicola Metrebian (King’s College London). Tricia is an early career researcher with experience in research and clinical work in the Addictions. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology, from De Montford University and an MSc in Addiction Studies from King’s College London. Throughout her career as a researcher, she has contributed to multiple high-impact projects which have attracted international recognition in the field of addiction and family justice research. She has experience using mixed methods approaches to investigate vulnerable groups in society struggling with addiction. She has a special interest in the real-world implementation of evidenced based psychosocial treatments for the treatment of addiction.
Her PhD research will explore the theoretical and practical challenges associated with the implementation of Contingency Management (CM) into mainstream drug and alcohol treatment services. The PhD will draw on theories and research methods from implementation science to investigate the translation, adaption and implementation of CM into routine clinical practice. She will be reviewing the relevant research literature, undertaking national surveys of treatment services and drug and alcohol commissioners and completing case studies in services where there is experience of using CM. These methods will provide a new perspective on implementation and help better understand how services (working effectively with commissioners) can improve the implementation of evidence-based practice in the Addictions.
Community based interventions for problematic substance use in later life: A systematic review of evaluated studies and their outcomes
Problematic substance use (PSU) in later life is a growing global problem of significant concern in tandem with a rapidly ageing global population. Prevention and interventions specifically designed for older people are not common, and those designed for mixed-age groups may fail to address the unique and sometimes complex needs of ageing communities. We report findings from a systematic review of the empirical evidence from studies which formally evaluated interventions used with older people and reported their outcomes. Nineteen studies were included, of which thirteen focused solely on alcohol-related problems. Most interventions (eight) utilised different types of screening, brief advice and education. The remaining drew on behavioural, narrative and integrated or multi-disciplinary approaches which aimed to meet people’s needs holistically. Quality assessment of study design helped to review evaluation practice. Recommendations are for more sustainable and well-designed intervention strategies for PSU in later life, which purposefully align with other areas of health and wellbeing and are delivered in locations where older people normally seek, or receive, help. Further scope for engagement with people’s own perspectives on their needs, and help-seeking, and for economic evaluation of the outcome of interventions could establish the value of investing in targeted services to this underserved population.