Toward Harm Reduction in Hospitals: A Qualitative Case Study of a Large Academic Health Sciences Centre
Harm reduction is a philosophy and set of strategies that aims to minimize the harms associated with substance use in people who are unwilling or unable to stop. There is a strong evidence base for harm reduction interventions in community settings, but there has been minimal uptake of these strategies in acute care facilities. This is concerning because people who use drugs (PWUD) have high rates of hospitalizations. Research suggests that PWUD report that their care needs and preferences are typically not met or respected while in hospital, and factors including restrictive hospital policies, stigma from healthcare professionals, and denial of pain medication contribute to a variety of health and social harms in this population. Despite calls for more integration of harm reduction into acute care, there has been minimal research that explores the perspectives of hospital-based healthcare providers on the potential role of harm reduction in hospital settings.
Our research objective is to provide a description and explanation of how a harm reduction approach might improve patient care for patients who use drugs who are hospitalized in a large, multi-site academic health sciences centre. We will recruit interdisciplinary healthcare professionals who provide care for PWUD who work in diverse clinical settings (e.g., oncology, physical rehabilitation, acute care).
- Dr Daniel Buchman (PI)
- Stefanie Lys
- Mahsima Nosrati-Inlalou
- Aubrie Vigna
- Andrea Sharp
- Community and Lived Experience Advisory Committee
Funders and partners
- Collaborative Academic Practice Research Grant (University Health Network)