Date of Conferral





Social Work


Garth den Heyer


AbstractThe efficacy of screening, brief, intervention, referral to treatment (SBIRT) in reducing or eliminating methamphetamine use has not been investigated and addressed among patients with heart failure. According to urine toxicology screens at admission at a county hospital, approximately 50% of patients in a heart failure program were positive for illicit substance use, and the majority of these tests (>60%) were for methamphetamine use, one of the most cardiotoxic drugs available. This quantitative study used an existing dataset to test the theory of intentional behavior by examining whether SBIRT intervention increases the patient’s ability to make a behavioral change and, therefore, makes a difference in rehospitalizations for patients with heart failure who screen positive for methamphetamine use. Three separate logistic regression tests compared which variables had the most influence across SBIRT or the severity of substance use on 30, 60, and 90 days of rehospitalizations while controlling for the patients who received screenings upon each hospital admission. The comparison between these 3 groups indicate a relationship between severity of methamphetamine use and having a 5-time increase in rehospitalization at 30 days. This project addresses an underresearched area for individuals with mild and moderate substance use problems with comorbid medical conditions. The findings may create positive social change for treatment providers by allowing them to understand that SBIRT is a general approach and not a specific technique. The results of this study may help health care providers such as doctors, nurses, and health educators and social workers to assist in patient substance use recovery and coordinate patient discharge and continuity of care following discharge.