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Perceived effectiveness of therapeutic community model as a rehabilitation approach for Sri Lankan individuals with substance use disorder

Nishadi Darsha Dharmarathna (Department of Nursing Education, Faculty of Nursing, KAATSU International University, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Akila Randika Jayamaha (Faculty of Graduate Studies, KAATSU International University, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Nadeeka Dimuthu Kumari Ranadeva (Deputy Vice Chancellor at KAATSU International University, Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Harshini Rajapakse (Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Sri Lanka)
Chinthika Gunasekara (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka)
Neluka Fernando (Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka)
Lalitha Meegoda (Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka)

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities

ISSN: 0964-1866

Article publication date: 17 March 2023

Issue publication date: 22 March 2023

78

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of residential treatment which follows the therapeutic community (TC) model for Sri Lankan individuals with substance use disorder (SUD).

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in two selected residential treatment centers which follow the TC model as a rehabilitation approach. All the clients of the selected residential treatment centers were invited to take part in the study and data were collected from 75 consented male participants using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. The perceived effectiveness of the residential treatment was assessed using the Treatment Effectiveness Assessment instrument. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Findings

Most of the participants were Sinhalese (98.7%, n = 74) with a mean age of 27.0 ± 6.0 years. The average duration in which participants stayed at selected centers was 8.0 ± 4.0 months. Most of the participants reported that the encouragement during the program was sufficient (89.3%, n = 67), psychological support was satisfactory (89.3%, n = 67), freedom (69.5%, n = 52) and facilities were adequate (76.0%, n = 57) within the program. A higher proportion of participants said that the counselors and program guides were friendly (80.0%, n = 60), and participants were allowed to communicate with their family with restrictions (92.0%, n = 69). The mean perceived effectiveness score (score range 1–40) was 34.0 ± 7.0 and the four domain scores (score range 1–10) were substance use (9.0 ± 2.0), health (8.0 ± 2.0), lifestyle (9.0 ± 2.0) and community (9.0 ± 2.0). The majority (88.0%, n = 66) of the participants perceived a high level of treatment effectiveness.

Originality/value

There is a paucity of empirical evidence on effectiveness of TC model for individuals with SUD in South Asian countries including Sri Lanka. The findings of this study highlight that the participants perceived higher effectiveness of the residential treatment which follows the TC approach for Sri Lankan individuals with SUD.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the Mithuru Mithuro Movement Organization for the support extended to the data collection process. This research was funded by the World Bank (HEI DOR [R2] Number 06) using the aid of the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development (AHEAD) Operation of the Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka.

Citation

Dharmarathna, N.D., Jayamaha, A.R., Ranadeva, N.D.K., Rajapakse, H., Gunasekara, C., Fernando, N. and Meegoda, L. (2023), "Perceived effectiveness of therapeutic community model as a rehabilitation approach for Sri Lankan individuals with substance use disorder", Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 27-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/TC-06-2022-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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