Participant and Staff Experiences in a Peer-Delivered HIV Intervention with Injection Drug Users.

Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (Impact Factor: 1.25). 02/2014; 9(1):6-18. DOI: 10.1525/jer.2014.9.1.6
Source: PubMed


We explore ethical issues faced by investigators as they conduct research as part of a peer-delivered HIV/AIDS risk reduction program for injection drug users (IDUs). Staff and participant experiences in peer-delivered interventions among IDUs have come under scrutiny by ethics researchers because of their potential to inadvertently and negatively impact participant rehabilitation due to continued engagement with drug-using networks during the course of outreach. This study explores whether enhanced communication of participant concerns and experiences with clinic and research staff helps to reduce inadvertent malfeasance in peer-delivered drug treatment interventions. Results contribute to the development of patient support infrastructure in peer-delivered risk reduction programs involving IDUs.

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    ABSTRACT: Scientific literature increasingly calls for studies to translate evidence-based interventions into real-world contexts balancing fidelity to the original design and fit to the new setting. The Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) is a health promotion intervention originally designed to train active drug users to become Peer Health Advocates. A theoretically driven approach was used to adapt RAP to fit implementation in outpatient methadone treatment clinics and pilot it with clinic patients. Ethnographic observations and process tracking documented the RAP translation and pilot experience, and clinic and community characteristics relevant to program implementation. Clinic administrators, staff, and patients were interviewed on their values, capacities, interest in RAP, perceived challenges of implementing RAP in drug treatment clinics, and experiences during the pilot. Findings indicated that RAP core components can be met when implemented in these settings and RAP can fit with the goals, interests, and other programs of the clinic. Balancing fidelity and fit requires recognition of the mutual impacts RAP and the clinic have on each other, which generate new interactions among staff and require ongoing specification of RAP to keep abreast of clinic and community changes. Collaboration of multiple stakeholders significantly benefited translation and pilot processes.
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