Victor Chtenguelov, S. Dvoriak, G. Prib. Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, Ukraine
Background: Existing data support the opinion that the attitudes and satisfaction of staff working with patients have an impact on retention and outcome. The objective of the study was to assess medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program staff knowledge and satisfaction of, and attitudes toward, working with drug users and to test a Ukrainian version of a questionnaire to meet this objective.
Methods: Sixty staff members in six buprenorphine-based MAT sites were evaluated at baseline and after 6 and 12 months during monitoring and evaluation of the programs. The Staff Attitude and Satisfaction Questionnaire (SASQ) was applied (a total of 51 questions divided into four domains).
Results: In the domain of user-friendly attitudes and domain of restrictive or negative attitudes toward drug users, the mean scores at all sites were in the medium segment at baseline and follow-up, indicating that more staff had more positive than negative attitudes toward patients. However, between 6-month and 12-month follow-up, the user-friendly attitudes became less dominant (decreased from a score of 23 to 20 on a scale of 9–27), while the negative attitudes increased at all sites (from a score of 53 to 60 on a scale of 28–84). In the work satisfaction domain, the mean scores were all in the upper segment (about 20 on a scale of 9–27), with small changes during the follow-up period.
Conclusion: Data showed the role of MAT program staff members’ perceptions concerning their jobs as possibly facilitating or limiting factors for implementation of this method of treatment. Local differences were revealed, and improvement measures were proposed. The Ukrainian version of SASQ did work.