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Acceptability of low dead space syringes and implications for their introduction: a qualitative study in the West of England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume39
Early online date24 Oct 2016
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Sep 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Oct 2016
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2017

Abstract

Background
It is recommended that needle and syringe programmes (NSP) distribute low dead space syringes (LDSS) to reduce blood-borne virus transmission. We explored the acceptability of detachable LDSS among people who inject drugs (PWID) and staff who work to support them.

Methods
Semi-structured interviews were performed with 23 PWID (15 men and 8 women) and 13 NSP staff members (6 men and 7 women) in Bath and Bristol, England. Recruited PWID reflected varying demographic characteristics, drug use and injecting preferences. Interviews explored experiences of different types of injecting equipment, facilitators and barriers of changing this equipment and attitudes towards detachable LDSS. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the Framework Method.

Results
Decisions about injecting practices were underpinned by several factors, including early experiences and peer initiation; awareness and availability of alternatives; and the ability to inject successfully. Rinsing and re-using syringes represented a quandary where rinsing could encourage re-use, but not rinsing could result in the re-use of unclean equipment. Most PWID were reluctant to change equipment particularly in the absence of any problems injecting. Prioritising getting a ‘hit’ over the prevention of potential problems was an important barrier to change. Overall detachable LDSS are likely to be acceptable. Lower risk of transferring infections and reduced drug wastage were valued benefits of detachable LDSS. There was a preference for a gradual introduction of detachable LDSS in which PWID are given an opportunity to try the new equipment alongside their usual equipment.

Conclusion
Detachable LDSS are likely to be acceptable and should therefore be offered to those using detachable high dead space syringes and/or fixed 1ml LDSS syringes to inject into deeper femoral veins. An intervention is needed to support their introduction with ‘training’, ‘education’, ‘persuasion’ and eventual ‘restriction’ components.

    Research areas

  • Acceptability, low dead space syringes, qualitative research

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395916303000. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 498 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

  • Supplementary information PDF

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0955395916303000. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 94.9 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

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