Validating a screening tool for mental health and substance use risk in an Indigenous prison population

Ober, Coralie, Dingle, Kaeleen D., Clavarino, Alexandra, Najman, Jake M., Alati, Rosa, & Heffernan, Edward B. (2013) Validating a screening tool for mental health and substance use risk in an Indigenous prison population. Drug and Alcohol Review.

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Abstract

Introduction and Aims: The Indigenous Risk Impact Screen (IRIS) is a validated culturally appropriate and widely used tool in the community for assessing substance use and mental disorder. This research aimed to assess the utility of this tool in an Indigenous prison population.

Design and Methods: The study used data collected from a cross-sectional study of mental health among indigenous inmates in Queensland custodial centres (n=395, 84% male). Participants were administered a modified version of the IRIS, and ICD-10 diagnoses of substance use, depressive and anxiety disorders obtained using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). The concurrent validity of the modified IRIS was assessed against those of the CIDI.

Results: 312 people screened as high risk for a substance use disorder and 179 were high risk for mental problems. 73% of males and 88% of females were diagnosed with a mental disorder. The IRIS was an effective screener for substance use disorders, with high sensitivity (Se) of 94% and low specificity (Sp) of 33%. The screener was less effective in identifying depression (Se 82%, Sp 59%) and anxiety (Se 68%, Sp 60%).

Discussion: The IRIS is the first culturally appropriate screening instrument to be validated for the risk of drug and alcohol and mental disorder among Indigenous adults in custody.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the IRIS is a valid tool for screening of alcohol and drug use risk among an incarcerated Indigenous population. The IRIS could offer an opportunity to improve the identification, treatment and health outcomes for incarcerated Indigenous adults.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 61642
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Indigenous, mental health, prisoner, psychometric evaluation, screening instrument
DOI: 10.1111/dar.12063
ISSN: 09595236
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Psychiatry (incl. Psychotherapy) (110319)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (111701)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 02 Aug 2013 01:25
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2013 21:30

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