Evaluation of a community-based mental health drug and alcohol nurse in the care of people living with HIV/AIDS

J. Allen, A. Hamilton, R. Nunn, L. Crock, J. Frecker, N. Burk

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4 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing need for advanced practice mental health and drug and alcohol nursing roles in the care of people living with HIV/AIDS; however, limited publications address these domains. This study evaluated a community-based mental health drug and alcohol nurse role caring for people living with HIV/AIDS (Mental Health D&A Nurse) in a large not-for-profit district nursing organization providing care to people living with HIV/AIDS in an Australian city. Outcomes from a client assessment and 6-8-week follow-up by the Mental Health D&A Nurse are presented as captured by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS 21), Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HONOS) and WHOQoL BREF. Mean scores and caseness were analysed, and significant differences were found on the 'impairment' and 'social problems' subscales of the HONOS. Results of semi-structured interviews with clients describe effective and supportive mental health care and health-promoting education following visits by the Mental Health D&A Nurse. These positive findings support continuing implementation of the role within this community setting and indicate that even greater benefits will ensue as the role develops further. Findings are of interest to clinicians and policy makers seeking to implement similar roles in community-based HIV/AIDS care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Community care
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse

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