BMC Health Services Research is calling for papers on health services for substance use disorders. Along with a more general trend affecting mental health disorders, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) and in the severity of pre-existing SUDs. Numerous comorbidities including psychological, psychiatric, neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, liver and sexually transmitted infections are frequently associated with SUDs and these further increase the SUDs-related burden on the health systems.
With the pressures placed on health systems by the pandemic, health services need to adjust the offer in terms of access to care for these patients. Services for the prevention and treatment of substance misuse and SUDs are delivered by distinct, dedicated programs or services, which often lack coordinated operability with general healthcare systems.
This Collection calls for papers describing measures taken withing health systems to respond to these unprecedented challenges, increase care access and improve care.
These include but are not limited to:
- Innovative initiatives that improve access to SUDs treatment and engage patients who are hesitant to participate in formal care
- Initiatives that aim at integrating SUDs health services and general healthcare within the health systems e.g. by improving coordination between emergency departments and primary care settings
- Coping strategies from health care structures offering SUDs care such as from primary care, specialty substance use disorder treatment (including residential and outpatient settings), mental health care, infectious disease clinics, school clinics, community health centers, hospitals, emergency departments, and others
- Financing models and policy changes potentially driving health reform efforts to develop effective and sustainable financing high-quality care that integrates behavioral health and general health care.
- Economic analyses such as cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit studies which assess the value of substance use Interventions.
- Initiatives that aim at implementing optimal, effective infrastructure for the SUDs prevention and treatment system.
- Challenges related to healthcare workforce in the field e.g. shortages, training, coordination.
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