A comparison of privileged access interviewing and traditional interviewing methods when studying drug users in treatment

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A comparison of privileged access interviewing and traditional interviewing methods when studying drug users in treatment

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title A comparison of privileged access interviewing and traditional interviewing methods when studying drug users in treatment
Author(s) Johnson, Björn ; Richert, Torkel
Date 2016
English abstract
Aims: Privileged access interviewing (PAI) has traditionally been used to reach illicit drug users and other ‘hidden’ populations. How PAI data compare to other self-reported data have seldom been discussed. We compare data from patients in opioid substitution treatment (OST), gathered through PAI and researcher interviews, respectively, to investigate whether PAIs and researchers are reaching comparable populations, and whether differences in answers are due to the sensitive nature of the questions. Methods: Structured interviews were conducted with 368 patients from nine OST clinics in three Swedish cities. 237 interviews were carried out by researchers, and 131 by nine PAIs (OST patients). Data were analyzed with χ2 test, Fisher’s exact test, t-test and logistic regression analysis. Results: PAIs and researchers recruited comparable populations, with few differences in terms of individual, treatment and social factors. However, self-reported behaviors revealed several significant differences. Alcohol consumption and drinking to intoxication was more commonly reported among patients interviewed through PAI (p < 0.001 and p = 0.001, respectively). Furthermore, the PAI group reported selling medication (p < 0.001 last month, p < 0.001 during treatment episode) and snorting buprenorphine (p = 0.010 last month, p = 0.001 during treatment episode) more frequently. Conclusions: PAI is a useful method in studies of illicit drug use and a valuable complement to more traditional interviewing methods. Specifically as regards revelations of a sensitive or controversial nature, PAI seems to produce different results than researcher interviews, and possibly also more truthful responses. PAI may have considerable potential as a data-gathering method also when studying other, more easily accessible populations.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/16066359.2016.1149570 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Addiction Research & Theory;
ISSN 1606-6359
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Privileged access interviewing
Hidden populations
Drug use
Self-report method
Opioid substitution treatment
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21081 (link to this page)

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