Theme: Models of Care Year: 2019
Background: Access to quality healthcare is a basic human right for all, including people who use
drugs (PWUD). Stigma creates significant barriers to the delivery of essential prevention and health
care services for PWUD.
Description of model of care/intervention: The year-long Drug User Health Capacity Building
Initiative (DUHCBI) is designed to build capacity within health care organizations to deliver stigma
free care to PWUD. Participating organizations conducted the following activities six months before
and after the initiative: Staff Assessment (SA) to measure staff attitudes towards caring for PWUD;
Organizational Assessment (OA) of the policies and practices for providing services to PWUD; Patient
Satisfaction Survey (PSS) to assess patient feelings and experiences about staff within the
organization. Organizations also participated in monthly webinars and attended two in-person
meetings to build knowledge and share best practices.
Effectiveness: Across the 11 participating organizations, 482 SA, 324 PSS and 11 OA were completed
pre-initiative. Post-initiative data are being collected and will be available at the conference.
At the final in-person meeting, participants shared the following organizational changes, as a result
of participating in the DUHCBI: increased institutional leadership support for services for PWUD,
newly developed clinical resources and trainings focused on reducing stigma; revisions to policies to
address stigma and the need for trauma informed care; expanded access to buprenorphine; changes
to language to be person-centered and inclusive of PWUD; installation of syringe disposal containers
in public bathrooms; and the creation of a Consumer Advisory Board giving PWUD meaningful roles
in organizational planning.
Conclusion and next steps: There is a lack of evidence-based interventions to reduce stigma
associated with drug use in health care settings. The DUHCBI serves as a model to enhance capacity
in health care organizations to provide equitable health care services. The DUHCBI is expanding to
include additional health care organizations.
Disclosure of Interest Statement: The authors have nothing to disclose. No industry funding was
used to support this initiative.