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How does the use of multiple needles/syringes per injecting episode impact on the measurement of individual level needle and syringe program coverage?

O'Keefe, D, McCormack, A, Cogger, S, Aitken, C, Burns, L, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Stafford, J, Butler, K, Breen, C and Dietze, P 2017 , 'How does the use of multiple needles/syringes per injecting episode impact on the measurement of individual level needle and syringe program coverage?' , The International journal on drug policy, vol. 46, no. August , pp. 99-106 , doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.055.

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Abstract

Background: Recent work by McCormack et al. (2016) showed that the inclusion of syringe stockpilingimproves the measurement of individual-level syringe coverage. We explored whether including the useof a new parameter, multiple sterile syringes per injecting episode, further improves coverage measures.Methods: Data comes from 838 people who inject drugs, interviewed as part of the 2015 Illicit DrugReporting System. Along with syringe coverage questions, the survey recorded the number of sterilesyringes used on average per injecting episode. We constructed three measures of coverage: one adaptedfrom Bluthenthal et al. (2007), the McCormack et al. measure, and a new coverage measure that includeduse of multiple syringes. Predictors of multiple syringe use and insufficient coverage (Results: 134 (16%) participants reported needing multiple syringes per injecting episode. Women showedsignificantly increased odds of multiple syringe use, as did those reporting injection related injuries/diseases and injecting of opioid substitution drugs or pharmaceutical opioids. Levels of insufficientcoverage across the three measures were substantial (20%–28%). ROC curve analysis suggested that ournew measure was no better at discriminating injecting risk behaviours than the existing measures.Conclusion: Based on our findings, there appears to be little need for adding a multiple syringe useparameter to existing coverage formulae. Hence, we recommend that multiple syringe use is notincludedin the measurement of individual-level syringe coverage.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:O'Keefe, D and McCormack, A and Cogger, S and Aitken, C and Burns, L and Bruno, R and Stafford, J and Butler, K and Breen, C and Dietze, P
Keywords: injecting drug use; harm reduction
Journal or Publication Title: The International journal on drug policy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0955-3959
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.05.055
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Elsevier B.V.

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