Introduction There is a need to train and develop a guideline for Community Health Workers (CHW) on how to tackle alcohol and drugs problem.
Objective To identify the profile and mental health problems of CHW and how they manage drug problem.
Methodology A descriptive study was performed and data collected from all CHW who work at Primary Health Care of Passo Fundo (Brazil). A Self Report Questionnaire (SRQ) was collected to screen mental health on CHW and scores higher than 7 were identified as positive for mental health problem. Their knowledge about drugs was also collected using a standard questionnaire. The Project was approved by the Passo Fundo University IRB. Descriptive statistics were applied.
Results All 78 CHW were women, age 41.1 ± 9.6 years old, 57.7% have completed high school level, 69.2% were married and 98.7% were from lower social class. Half of the CHW were sedentaries, 32% were smokers, 93.6% did not report alcohol dependency, although 59% reported to have a member of their family as having drug or an alcohol problem. They reported that alcohol and drug is a major problem in the community. There were 29.5% of CHW who have SRQ score higher than 7. The mean grade of the knowledge test was 34%.
Conclusion There is a need to develop a guideline on alcohol and drugs for CHW. The profile of CHW had shown a high level of psychiatric problems and lack of basic information.
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