Perspectives of Acute Care Healthcare Professionals on Harm Reduction Strategies: A Scoping Review Protocol

Objective: The objective of this scoping review is to investigate the perspectives of acute care healthcare professionals on harm reduction strategies. Introduction: Patients with substance use disorders (SUD) are more likely to leave hospitals against medical advice (AMA), which results in untreated health conditions, comorbidities, and increased hospital readmissions. Current research suggests that perceived stigma around addictions may increase the risk of leaving AMA. Harm reduction strategies can enhance patient care and reduce AMA departures; however, implementing these strategies can be challenging if healthcare professionals are opposed to harm reduction. This scoping review will investigate the current literature to understand the perspectives of acute care healthcare professionals on harm reduction strategies. Inclusion criteria: This scoping review will include studies that discuss the perspectives of regulated healthcare professionals working in acute care settings regarding harm reduction strategies. Literature on harm reduction education will be excluded, as well as harm reduction interventions not targeted at patients who use alcohol, illicit drugs, or abuse prescription drugs. Methods: This scoping review protocol follows the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) guidelines for developing a protocol (Peters et al., 2022). The searched databases will include MEDLINE(R) (Ovid), APA PsycInfo (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), and CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCO). The search will use subject headings and keywords identified during the analysis of seed articles. To make the search more comprehensive, handsearching reference lists and citation tracing will be utilized. Studies will be limited to the English language. Data extraction will use articles from the search that discuss perspectives of harm reduction strategies in acute care. The data extracted will include the author, year of publication, title, setting, study design, participants, aim or questions, methods, and themes or outcomes. The proposed scoping review will follow the JBI methodology for scoping reviews (Peters et al., 2020).
Scoping Review Protocol