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Drug Alcohol Rev. 2014 Nov;33(6):651-7. doi: 10.1111/dar.12124. Epub 2014 Mar 6.

Comparing subjective well-being and health-related quality of life of Australian drug users in treatment in regional and rural Victoria.

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  • 1Faculty of Health, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND AIMS:

The aim of this study is to examine the self-reported subjective well-being and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of alcohol and other drug users and to examine whether subjective well-being in this sample would be predicted by either HRQOL and/or severity of dependence.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 201 Victorian substance users in individual targeted outpatient treatment for a variety of types of substance use. Participants were administered an interview, including the personal well-being index, the SF-8 health survey and the severity of dependence scale, in order to assess subjective well-being, the mental health component of HRQOL and severity of drug dependence respectively.

RESULTS:

Subjective well-being was predicted by mental health aspects of HRQOL (sr(2)  = 0.03) and by employment (sr(2)  = 0.05), rather than by severity of dependence [F(5, 146) = 5.60, P < 0.001, R(2)  = 0.14].

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

The current sample of urban and regional substance users in outpatient treatment shows poorer levels of subjective well-being than do the general population. Subjective well-being was predicted by mental aspects of HRQOL and not by severity of drug dependence or by physical aspects of HRQOL. Treatment which aims to improve substance users' well-being should include mental health interventions and pathways to employment.

© 2014 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

KEYWORDS:

drug and alcohol treatment; health-related quality of life; mental health; quality of life; subjective well-being

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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