We are delighted to announce NCETA’s new Director, Professor Jacqueline Bowden. Jacquie has a background in both psychology (BA Arts, Hons and PhD) and public health (Master of Public Health). Jacquie has been Deputy Director of the Health Policy Centre at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). She has 20 years’ experience working in tobacco control, and she has managed South Australia’s Tobacco Control Research and Evaluation Program which informs all state policy, programs and interventions in tobacco control for the past 15 years. Over the past 10 years, Professor Bowden has broadened into the field of alcohol policy research where she now leads a program of research. She holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship to investigate messaging to reduce parental supply of alcohol to teenagers and is also leading an evaluation of a national campaign to raise awareness of the risks of drinking during pregnancy. We very much look forward to Jacquie joining us on 29 November 2021.
The alcohol and other drugs (AOD) sector has shown strong progress with regard to recognition, professionalism and international programs of training and credentialing. Yet little is known regarding the professional development (PD) needs of AOD workers, nor how these needs differ across career stages. Australian AOD workers (N = 812) from the government and non-government sectors completed an online survey. Early career workers (≤3 years’ AOD experience) were more likely than mid/late career workers to be non-government employed and earn less than the national average and were less likely to be AOD qualified and have permanent employment. Early career workers were more likely to nominate a need for PD in advanced clinical skills (86.3%, p ≤ .05), dual diagnoses/mental health (72.6%, p ≤ .001) and service delivery/partnerships/teamwork (66.4%, p ≤ .01). These findings highlight an urgent need for advanced skill development to accord with increasing complexity in AOD presentations. High quality care is founded on a skilled and experienced workforce; addressing the ubiquitous PD barriers of time, cost and access is a crucial workforce development priority best addressed through reform to systems of organisational funding, professional accreditation and curriculum development in AOD specialist and generalist health areas.
Objective: To map patterns and prevalence of daily smoking among employed Australians over time. Methods: Data from four waves of the triennial National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016) were used to assess daily smoking. Frequency analyses and significance testing examined smoking prevalence by sex, age, state, remoteness, Indigeneity, socioeconomic status (SES) and psychological distress. Logistic regression models estimated adjusted effects of demographics on smoking prevalence. Results: Workers’ daily smoking prevalence reduced by 32% between 2007 and 2016. The adjusted model showed the lowest smoking reductions among men and non-metropolitan workers. Other interaction effects showed the highest daily smoking rates for: male workers aged 14–39 years; low SES non-metropolitan workers; and low SES workers aged 40–59 years. Conclusions: Specific workplace policies, prevention and intervention strategies are warranted for male workers, especially those aged 14–39; non-metropolitan workers, especially low SES rural workers; and low SES workers especially 40–59-year-olds. Implications for public health: In spite of significant smoking reductions among workers over time, reductions were unevenly distributed. Tailored, innovative workplace prevention and intervention strategies that apply principles of proportionate universalism and address individual, workplace settings and cultural factors are warranted to reduce smoking disparities among male, rural and low SES workers.
This brief report describes a survey design process undertaken in collaboration with industry stakeholders from government, non-government and other applied fields. This account highlights fundamental and contested issues of knowledge creation in research, situated within the broader contemporary context of social change addressing inequality and inclusion for historically marginalised and vulnerable groups.
The study comprised a non-probability survey of the Australian Alcohol and Other Drugs Workforce.
A reflective account is provided.
Significant and unanticipated differences in conceptual frames and perceptions of research ethics between the research team and industry representatives emerged during the collaboration, with major implications for the validity of the research process.
The traditional, and largely unquestioned, understanding of quantitative survey research methodology is encountering increasing challenges in light of contemporary considerations of identity, privacy and wellbeing of survey participants. Some of these differences seriously challenged conventional approaches to research methodology, quality and rigour. There is a pressing need for further exploration, discussion and debate regarding the process of knowledge creation, ownership and stewardship. Strategies to better equip the research community and their industry stakeholders to navigate issues of research veracity, integrity and rigour are urgently needed, including training and guidance on negotiate differences in values, priorities and perspectives for upcoming and established researchers.