Harm Reduction Programs Increasing the Likelihood of Actively Using Addicts Going into Treatment

There is a specific purpose that this paper aims to achieve and a particular question it tries to answer. Unfortunately, the literature review is not enough for finding out whether having harm reduction programs and nurses in treatment centers may increase the likelihood of actively using addicts going into treatment (Dubois, 2017). Therefore, a precise data collection plan that will take into consideration all goals of the study and use the most suitable method is required.

To begin with, since this is a qualitative study, there are two methods that are likely to be useful considering the circumstances. First, participant observation should allow gaining intimate and close familiarity with the chosen group of individuals – active substance abusers (Fain, 2017). The purpose of this method will be to observe their usual practices and reactions in their natural environment – long-term substance abuse treatment center, through an intensive involvement with a representative sample. According to Fain (2017), using this method for an extended period of time, most likely, for four to six months, will provide accurate results and make it possible to draw specific conclusions. As for the data needed, the purpose will be to understand how people with substance abuse disorder chosen for the research behave in the medical center and perceive harm reduction programs. To be more precise, at the beginning of the data collection, half of the sample representatives will be those patients who already take part in harm reduction programs, and the other part will be those who avoid it for one reason or another.

Focus group interviews are another data collection method that will be useful for this qualitative study (Fain, 2017). Since organizing personal interviews may be inconvenient and will not allow to conduct them with an extended number of sample representatives, focus group interviews are the best choice (Tausch & Menold, 2016). For instance, every week, there will be several meetings with four to ten participants, some of whom are already undergoing harm reduction programs, while others avoid this type of intervention. Focus group interviews will greatly contribute to the data collected by observations and make it possible to gain an understanding of how exactly both types of patients perceive their treatment plans and the help of harm reduction nurses and programs (Palumbo, 2019). Of course, the goal of such interviews with mixed participants is to make them exchange opinions and increase the likelihood of more active substance abusers beginning to trust such programs.

Collecting necessary data does not allow drawing specific conclusions. Therefore an analysis plan is needed to make sure that the information gathered by using data collection methods is enough and helpful. For this qualitative study, the best option is to use inferential statistics that will make it possible to generalize findings from a sample to a population – people with substance abuse disorder (Fain, 2017). Correlation is a measuring tool for this research that will help determine whether there is a possible relationship between two variables: introduction of harm reduction programs and nurses in treatment centers and increased likelihood of actively using addicts going into treatment.

In relation to the data collection methods mentioned above, there will be a specific way of interpreting the results. First, with the participant observation, in case the number of observed sample representatives who choose harm reduction programs increases after a certain period of time, the answer to the research question will be positive. The same is with focus group interviews where patients exchange their perceptions of these programs.


Dubois, T. M. (Ed.). (2017). Harm reduction. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 28(1), 42. Web.

Fain, J. A. (2017). Reading, understanding, and applying nursing research. F.A. Davis Company.

Palumbo, R. (2019). A call to action: Defining the acute care nurse’s role in harm reduction for persons with substance use disorder. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 30(4), 236-237. Web.

Tausch, A. P., & Menold, N. (2016). Methodological aspects of focus groups in health research: Results of qualitative interviews with focus group moderators. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 3(2333393616630466). Web.

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