By: Lisa McDonald, communications specialist and Bill O'Leary, social worker, Casey House; PhD candidate, University of Toronto.
There is a recognized need to increase the adoption of harm reduction approaches in hospital and community health settings. Health care facilities with little or no harm reduction practice experience must consider how to integrate this approach into their care delivery, as well as how to create policy and evaluation metrics to assess effectiveness.
Harm reduction is an evidence-based approach to HIV prevention, treatment, and care. A recent paper explored health care workers' perspectives at two organizations with an explicit harm reduction philosophy and policy in place that directs care delivery for people living with HIV, Casey House in Toronto and the Dr. Peter Centre in Vancouver.
The article, co-authored by Casey House social worker and University of Toronto PhD Candidate Bill O'Leary and Casey House director of research Soo Chan Carusone, aims to foster dialogue on the benefits and challenges of providing health care in a harm reduction setting. The paper, Perspective of healthcare workers about the delivery and evaluation of harm reduction services for people living with HIV who use substances, was published on open source format and is accessible to all interested readers.
This study supports Casey House's belief that research and evaluation informs care and best practice.