Identifying perceived barriers to monitoring service quality among substance abuse treatment providers in South Africa
CITATION: Myers, B. et al. 2014. Identifying perceived barriers to monitoring service quality among substance abuse treatment providers in South Africa. BMC Psychiatry, 14:31, doi:10.1186/1471-244X-14-31.
The original publication is available at http://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com
Background: A performance measurement system is planned for South African substance abuse treatment services. Provider-level barriers to implementing these systems have been identified in the United States, but little is known about the nature of these barriers in South Africa. This study explored the willingness of South African substance abuse treatment providers’ to adopt a performance measurement system and perceived barriers to monitoring service quality that would need to be addressed during system development. Methods: Three focus group discussions were held with treatment providers from two of the nine provinces in South Africa. These providers represented the diverse spread of substance abuse treatment services available in the country. The final sample comprised 21 representatives from 12 treatment facilities: eight treatment centres in the Western Cape and four in KwaZulu-Natal. Content analysis was used to extract core themes from these discussions. Results: Participants identified barriers to the monitoring of service quality that included outdated modes of collecting data, personnel who were already burdened by paperwork, lack of time to collect data, and limited skills to analyse and interpret data. Participants recommended that developers engage with service providers in a participatory manner to ensure that service providers are invested in the proposed performance measurement system. Conclusion: Findings show that substance abuse treatment providers are willing to adopt a performance measurement system and highlight several barriers that need to be addressed during system development in order to enhance the likelihood that this system will be successfully implemented.