“I Genuinely Believe This Is the Most Stigmatised Group within the Social Care Sector”—Health and Social Care Professionals’ Experiences of Working with People with Alcohol-Related Brain Damage: A Qualitative Interview Study

Peter Johan Kruithof, William McGovern, Catherine Haighton*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Appropriate diagnosis, treatment and care contribute to better service engagement, improvements to wellbeing, cost savings and reductions in morbidity and mortality for people with alcohol-related brain damage. In Northeast England, large amounts of alcohol are consumed; this is reflected in the number of alcohol-related deaths in the region. However, the pathway for people with alcohol-related brain damage to receive diagnosis, treatment and care is unknown and could be unwittingly influenced by stigma. Qualitative, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were completed with 25 health and social care professionals from organizations involved with people with alcohol-related brain damage recruited via snowball sampling. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded, and analysed. People with alcohol-related brain damage were found to be stigmatised by both society and professionals, inhibiting their entry into services. Therefore, alcohol-related brain damage remains underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed. There was found to be no dedicated service; silos with revolving doors and underfunded generic care with long waiting lists typically exclude those with alcohol-related or neurological problems. Reducing stigmatising processes associated with alcohol-related brain damage could counteract professionals’ reluctance to provide care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023

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