Current practices and attitudes of family physicians towards substance use disorders in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi: a cross sectional survey in primary care

Catriona Isobel Matheson, Christine Margaret Bond, Amanda Jane Lee, Amna Marzouqi, Hanan Al Hashmil, Rekha Thomas, Hamad AlGhafri, Ahmed ElKashef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Primary care clinics are the ideal setting to treat individuals with Substance Use Disorders (SUD). However, in most societies including the United Arab Emirates(UAE), the level and type of treatment provided by physicians in primary care is unknown. This study aims to assess the attitudes and beliefs of primary care physicians towards the treatment of patients with SUD.Methods: A cross-sectional electronic survey was distributed to 231 physicians across 35 primary healthcare clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The survey questionnaire captured data on four main areas including demographic and practice characteristics of the physicians, practice patterns of the physicians, training, and attitudes towards drug dependency treatment.Results: The response rate was 46%. There were more females (59%) and the mean (standard deviation) age of participants was 46.4 (9.5) years. Only 8.7% of physicians treated people with SUDs. Most of the physicians (93.2%) did not have specialised training in treating SUDs. A total 66% of physicians were interested in obtaining further training in screening and management of SUDs.Conclusion: This study identifies the need to implement training for physicians in diagnosing and further managing patients with addiction.DOI: International Journal of Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders 2014;1(2):84-97
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-97
Number of pages14
JournalInt Journal of the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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