A systematic review of stigma interventions for providers who treat patients with substance use disorders. Journal of substance abuse treatment Bielenberg, J., Swisher, G., Lembke, A., Haug, N. A. 2021; 131: 108486


Stigma surrounding substance use disorders (SUDs) is a frequently cited barrier to treatment engagement. Research consistently demonstrates that healthcare professionals' attitudes towards patients with addiction problems are often negative and may adversely impact service delivery. The current study presents a systematic review of stigma interventions for providers who treat patients with SUDs, in order to evaluate the quality of existing studies and potential for implementation in clinical settings.This systematic literature review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Databases included PubMed, APA PsycInfo and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Of the 1462 records identified between 2011 and 2019, 15 studies were eligible for inclusion. A narrative synthesis of stigma interventions summarized the change in stigmatizing attitudes held by providers.Studies included heterogeneous and culturally diverse samples of providers (N = 1324), who varied by age, location, discipline, and experience, with the exception of primarily female providers (75%). Results delineated six types of provider stigma interventions with components including online education, in-person education, in-person contact with consumers in recovery, or some combination of these elements. The highest quality studies incorporated motivational interviewing or communication training interventions, and many interventions combined either in-person mentorship or contact with individuals in recovery. Positive effects on provider attitudes occurred at several levels of educational and consumer contact interventions. Interventions with consumer contact demonstrated long-term maintenance of attitudinal shifts. Despite significant methodological limitations and low-quality assessment ratings, several studies utilized real-world providers and patients, as well as practical, innovative, brief, and potentially cost-effective interventions, particularly in locations with limited technological resources.Research on provider stigma interventions increased in recent years, indicating greater worldwide attention to the negative impact of stigma. While educational interventions alone can be helpful in attitudinal change, contact with individuals in recovery from SUDs is a vital component of provider stigma interventions, particularly for lasting effects. This review highlights the importance of including implementation outcomes, such as sustainability and cost-effectiveness, in the study of stigma interventions for providers of addiction treatment.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108486

View details for PubMedID 34217033