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Changes in General Nurses’ Knowledge of Alcohol and Substance Use and Misuse After Education

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PURPOSE. 

This study aims to assess the impact of an education program on Australian general nurses’ knowledge and competence in identifying and managing patients with alcohol and substance use and misuse, and compare findings with existing literature on mental health nurses. DESIGN AND METHODS. 

Pre- and posttest design without a control group. FINDINGS. 

The nurses’ knowledge of safe drinking limits and alcohol withdrawal management improved following the education. Nevertheless, overall the nurses reported a lack of adequate knowledge and competence. Compared to mental health nurses, the nurses in this study had lower levels of knowledge and competence. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. 

We suggest several opportunities for general nurses to strengthen their knowledge and skills and the need for a comprehensive and regular education program.
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Keywords: Education; knowledge; nurses; substance use; survey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Applied Nursing Research, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia 2: Drug Health Services, Sydney South West Area Health Service, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia 3: Centre for Applied Nursing Research, Sydney South West Area Health Service, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia 4: University of Western Sydney, Penrith, New South Wales, and Sydney South West Area Health Service, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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