Health professionals' attitudes towards AOD-related work

Moving the traditional focus from education and training to organizational culture

Natalie Skinner, Ann M. Roche, Toby Freeman, Anna McKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This article presents a critical review of research on health professionals' attitudes towards alcohol and other drug (AOD)-related work relevant to both researchers and practitioners. It moves beyond education and training programs to examine the relevance of organizational culture in influencing attitudes. Method: A review of research conducted on health professionals' attitudes towards AOD-related work, and strategies to develop positive attitudes was undertaken. Findings: 12 evidence-based tenets were identified in regard to attitudes towards AOD-related work. Key findings include the importance of professional attitudes related to confidence and perceived legitimacy of responding, and personal attitudes related to social justice concerns. Education/training and role support were identified as important evidence-based strategies to develop and support positive attitudes. Conclusion: To foster development of positive attitudes and effective responses in regard to AOD-related work a focus that extends beyond the individual worker is required. Education and training are a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to ensure health professionals' capacity and willingness to respond to AOD issues. Research on organizational culture provides valuable insight into the types of organizational and systems factors likely to influence AOD-related attitudes and work practice. Key strategies to develop an organizational culture supportive of AOD-related work and future research areas are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-249
Number of pages18
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Health professionals' attitudes towards AOD-related work: Moving the traditional focus from education and training to organizational culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this