This PhD project aims to inform substance dependence prevention and treatment by utilising population-representative epidemiological and observational data to develop and validate models of substance dependence related outcomes.
Assoc. Prof Timothy Dobbins
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW
The prevention and treatment of substance dependence is a global health priority. While considerable research attention is given to developing novel approaches for preventing and treating substance dependence, there also exists the potential to strengthen the delivery of those services which are currently available. Identifying population subgroups with distinct characteristics that are predictive of their subsequent outcomes is one means through which this might be possible. This project will use statistical techniques to identify population subgroups to support the design and implementation of tailored prevention and treatment services, to optimise clinical outcomes and reduce health care costs related to substance dependence.
The overarching aim of this project is to develop and validate models to estimate risk of substance dependence related outcomes. This will be carried out in different populations for various substance types using individual-level data from multiple linked data projects. Combined, these models will traverse the fields of prevention, identification and treatment provision. Outcomes which will be investigated include:
- Alcohol dependence among young adolescents
- Retention among people in opioid agonist treatment
- Adverse events among people prescribed opioids
- Provide evidence for the extent to which risk models developed on routinely collected data can be used to support the delivery of services seeking to improve the prevention and treatment of substance dependence.
- Outline the considerations and limitations needing to be considered when using observational data to support decision processes related to service delivery.