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Arch Hellen Med, 25(3), May-June 2008, 373-383


Training seminar in substance use management for medical professionals: Implementation and evaluation

Department of Psychiatry, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

This paper presents the rationale, targets and features of a training seminar on the management of individuals with alcohol and other drug use problems, and its evaluation. The seminar was organized by the Department of Psychiatry of Athens University Medical School with the aim of contributing towards filling the gap in the education of health professionals in this field. The seminar was attended by 20 generalists and graduates of the Medical School waiting to start specialization in general medicine, and its duration was 55 hours. It was based on the training methodology and active participatory approach of a training manual published by the European Addiction Training Institute (EATI) in Amsterdam, developed from the initiative and preparatory work of a team of experts and university professors from seven EU countries. The evaluation of the seminar was exhaustive and included all the stages of the seminar - preparation, implementation and outcome. It was carried out with the participation of those involved, that is, the students and the trainers, based on predefined criteria and employing several methods such as questionnaires, observation and group discussions. In this way the strong and weak aspects of the seminar were revealed. In general, the trainees reported that the seminar had provided them with new and necessary knowledge and skills for the diagnosis and management of individuals with alcohol and drug use problems. They proposed continuing education on the topic. The trainers, acknowledging the seminar's positive impact on the trainees, proposed its extension to a greater number of physicians throughout the country. The evaluation of the seminar assisted in the formulation of proposals that were submitted to the appropriate public authorities. These proposals focused on the extension of training in Greece and on the ways that this could be achieved with the optimum cost/benefit relationship. Up to he present there has been no response from the relevant public bodies.

Key words: Management, Substance use disorders, Training of physicians.

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