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Correlated outcomes of a pilot intervention for people injecting drugs and their family members in Vietnam.

  • Author(s): Li, Li;
  • Hien, Nguyen Tran;
  • Liang, Li-Jung;
  • Lin, Chunqing;
  • Tuan, Nguyen Anh
  • et al.


The interrelationship between the well-being of injecting drug users (IDUs) and their family environment has been widely documented. However, few intervention programs have addressed the needs of both IDUs and their family members.


This study describes a randomized intervention pilot targeting 83 IDUs and 83 of their family members from four communes in Phú Thọ province, Vietnam. The IDUs and family members in the intervention condition received multiple group sessions, with the intent to improve psychological well-being and family relationships. The intervention outcomes (depressive symptoms and family relations) were evaluated at baseline, 3-month and 6-month follow-up assessments.


Depressive symptoms and family relations reported by IDUs were found to be correlated to those reported by their family members. Overall, significant intervention effects on depressive symptoms and family relations were observed for both IDUs and family members. A similar improvement pattern in family relations emerged for both the IDU and family member samples, although the intervention effect of reducing depressive symptoms was more sustainable for family members at the 6-month assessment when compared to the IDU sample.


The intervention pilot addressed challenges faced by IDUs and their family members and revealed correlated outcomes for the two groups. Findings suggest a vital need to include family members in future drug prevention and harm reduction intervention efforts.

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