Current Projects

List of projects

Alcohol diagnostic Validation for Injury-Related Trauma (AVIRT): A Catalyst for Improving Health Practice and Policy in South Africa

This SAMRC project aims to validate alcohol diagnostics for injury-related trauma and assess its utility for improving national health practice and policy in a mixed-methods study across three work-packages. Given the prominent role of alcohol in the trauma setting South Africa needs practical, cost-effective and accurate alcohol diagnostic tools for testing. This is beneficial for surveillance and clinical management of trauma and integrating these to routine hospital settings, will inform and improve government’s response to policy and practice related to addressing heavy drinking more broadly. Through this project we hope to identify and validate the most appropriate method(s) of diagnosing alcohol-related injury and violence in a clinical setting.

Key investigator: petal.petersen@mrc.ac.za

CODEMISUSED
The research aims to quantify the extent of codeine use, misuse and dependence in Ireland, United Kingdom and South Africa, with the focus on therapeutic and non-therapeutic use, so as to create user profiles of use and abuse and capture individual user, pharmacy, medic and treatment provider perspectives. Data will be used to inform the design of pharmacy-based brief interventions and customer monitoring systems, continuing staff training and management of appropriate treatment interventions.
Key investigator: Charles.parry@mrc.ac.za
Flagship
This SAMRC research project is a randomised controlled trial being conducted in clinics in Tshwane among people who are living with HIV (PLWHA) who are on antiretroviral medication and who drink at hazardous or harmful levels. The aim of the study is to assess the efficacy of an intervention for hazardous/harmful drinking in reducing alcohol consumption and improving ART adherence and HIV treatment outcomes among PLWHA.
Key investigator: Neo.morojele@mrc.ac.za and Charles.parry@mrc.ac.za
International Alcohol Control (IAC) Study
The International Alcohol Control (IAC) study is one of numerous studies on alcohol policy being conducted in various developing and developed countries around the world. The key aims of the South African arm of the IAC study are to assess the impact of existing and changing alcohol policies on alcohol consumption among a general population sample of older adolescents (aged 16-17 years), and adults (aged 18-65 years) who have consumed alcohol in Tshwane, South Africa.
Key investigator: Neo.morojele@mrc.ac.za and Charles.parry@mrc.ac.za
Maternal Alcohol Reduction Intervention in South Africa [MaRISA]

This study, funded by NIAAA, involves developing a behavioral intervention to reduce maternal alcohol use in SA. It aims to test and examine acceptability and feasibility of remote alcohol monitoring with contingent financial incentives and text-based health promotion and referrals for alcohol abstinence during pregnancy and lactation.

Key investigator: petal.petersen@mrc.ac.za

Pretreatment Coop
This NIH-funded project involves developing and initially testing a trauma-informed intervention for young substance-using women with trauma exposure. Specifically, we are seeking substance-suing women in emerging adulthood with histories of trauma, testing for HIV, and providing them with a trauma-informed substance abuse treatment programme before linking them to ongoing supportive services. We are piloting this intervention to gather initial findings of its feasibility, acceptability and outcomes.
Key investigator: bronwyn.myers@mrc.ac.za
Project MIND
This project, funded by the British MRC, involves developing a feasible, acceptable and effective collaborative care model for delivering a brief intervention for alcohol and depression to patients receiving chronic disease care in the Western Cape. Through a cluster randomised controlled trial we are comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two models of collaborative care against treatment as usual for patients receiving HIV or diabetes treatment. Facilities will be trained to deliver the model that is found to work best.
Key investigator: bronwyn.myers@mrc.ac.za
SACENDU
The South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) is an ongoing ATOD use trends monitoring project, focussing on data collected from substance abuse treatment centres on presenting patients. Data are collected six-monthly in all nine provinces in South Africa
Key investigator: nadine.harker@mrc.ac.za
Systematic Review of Alcohol Control Policies
The aim of this project is to conduct an overview of systematic reviews of alcohol control policy interventions between 2006 and 2015 to 1) identify the current evidence for each intervention; 2) appraise the methodological rigour of each review, and 3) synthesise the summarised evidence and quality thereof. We will follow the methods for umbrella reviews used by the Cochrane Collaboration.
Key investigator: nsiegfried@gmail.com
SQM Initiative
This is a performance measurement system that routinely collects data on patient-reported outcomes and perceptions of the quality and accessibility of substance abuse treatment services. It is currently being implemented in substance abuse treatment services in the Western Cape and is funded by the DoSD.
Key investigator: Nadine.harker@mrc.ac.za
For any queries related to the Service Quality Measures project, contact Kim Johnson at kim.johnson@mrc.ac.za
SQM & SQM Western Cape Pilot
The aim of the Service Quality Metrics (SQM) project is to design and conduct a consumer survey of the quality and performance of substance abuse treatment services. This survey will be linked to administrative record data on treatment completion and service outcomes. This project will be piloted in facilities in KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
Key investigator: Nadine.harker@mrc.ac.za
For any queries related to the Service Quality Measures project, contact Kim Johnson at kim.johnson@mrc.ac.za
TRUST (Alcohol and TB)
This NIAID-funded project is being conducted in collaboration with Boston University. It is a longitudinal cohort study that seeks to unpack the impact of alcohol use on TB treatment outcomes, as well as the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics effects of alcohol on TB medication. This study is being conducted in Worcester.
Key investigator: bronwyn.myers@mrc.ac.za
Young Women's Health Coop
This RTI funded study is a randomised controlled trial working with adolescent females (aged 16-19 years old). It aims to increase uptake of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) among out-of-school, substance-using adolescent females and test the efficacy of a comprehensive gender-focused HTC intervention in Cape Town, South Africa, with peers as co-facilitators of the intervention.
Key investigator: bronwyn.myers@mrc.ac.za
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