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Clinical trials and American Indians/Alaska Natives with substance use disorders: identifying potential strategies for a new cultural-based intervention

Daniel L. Dickerson (Assistant Research Psychiatrist, based at Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Kamilla L. Venner (Department of Psychology and Center on Alcoholism Substance Abuse and Addictions (CASAA), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)
Bonnie Duran (Indigenous Wellness Research Institute in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 9 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address a significant public mental health disparity affecting American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs): the shortage of clinical trials research analyzing the benefits of AI/AN traditional-based treatments, e.g. drumming.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of four focus groups were conducted among outpatient and inpatient AI/AN substance abuse patients and providers serving AI/ANs. The purpose of these focus groups was to obtain insights relating to the recent challenges of conducting a clinical trial within the outpatient treatment setting seeking to analyze the benefits of a new substance abuse treatment intervention utilizing drumming for AI/ANs [Drum-assisted Recovery Therapy for Native Americans (DARTNA)] and to obtain recommendations to successfully conduct a similar study within an inpatient treatment setting.

Findings

The most prevalent barriers to conducting a clinical trial within an outpatient setting were transportation and child care issues. Recommendations were obtained with regard to optimizing recruitment and retention for a future study within an inpatient setting.

Originality/value

This research offers the field rare information that helps toward identifying strategies to successfully conduct clinical trials investigating the benefits of culturally-appropriate treatments for AI/ANs with substance use disorders.

Keywords

Citation

L. Dickerson, D., L. Venner, K. and Duran, B. (2014), "Clinical trials and American Indians/Alaska Natives with substance use disorders: identifying potential strategies for a new cultural-based intervention", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 175-178. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-01-2014-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited