The eDATA K results demonstrate that the screening and brief interventions are not only effective, feasible and sustainable, but that they have great potential for scalability, due to the increasing availability of computer and internet, and the need for intervention to address the very large burden of alcohol, tobacco and other drug consumption.
- Africa Mental Health Foundation and NextGenU.org have now shown the feasibility of using online learning to train health workers in practice even in rural areas of Kenya. Throughout eDATA K, more than 90 health workers, including 39 community health workers, were trained to address risky levels of use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances such as Khat and Bhang.
- The merits of this model of online training include that it is free, provides convenient access, and is effective in improving the competencies of health workers. The training impacted knowledge, skills and attitude, with a notable decrease in stigma towards those affected by tobacco, alcohol and other substance use disorders.
- The screening and interventions (learned from the AMHF and NextGenU.org training) are highly effective, leading to very significant decrease in consumption of alcohol and improved functioning among the more than 1200 patients included in the study. The results of the randomized control trial even indicate that community health workers can be as effective as nurses in impacting alcohol consumption. More results are to come on impact on other substances and other health indicators.
- The clinical leaders in one of the districts also received a quality improvement online course, which led them to sustain the screening and brief interventions in their regular practice even after the end of the randomized control trial. They have been able to screen more than 6000 other patients and offer brief intervention to the more than 700 who had risky levels of substance use.