How might the ‘Icelandic model’ for preventing substance use among young people be developed and adapted for use in Scotland? Utilising the consolidated framework for implementation research in a qualitative exploratory study
BACKGROUND: Substance use among young people is a significant public health concern, particularly in Scotland. Primary prevention activities are essential in delaying young people’s substance use and reducing the harms associated with use. However, such prevention activities are generally lacking. The Icelandic Model (IM) has received increasing attention and has been associated with improvements in substance use in Iceland since the 1990s. There is interest in implementing the IM in Scotland but concerns regarding transferability. This research study aimed to address a gap in the evidence base by providing insight into stakeholders’ views of the IM in Dundee and more widely in Scotland.
METHODS: Qualitative data were collected via semi-structured telephone interviews with 16 stakeholders. Data were analysed using Framework Analysis in NVivo, informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research.
RESULTS: Participants were keen for more prevention activities to be delivered in Scotland and were generally supportive of the IM, given the high rates of substance use and related harm. A range of positive factors were identified, including the evidence base, the multi-component nature of the IM, and availability of current services that could be embedded into delivery. Several barriers were noted, relating to funding, the franchise model, support and buy-in and cultural differences.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide insight into the views of a range of stakeholders regarding the potential implementation of the IM in Scotland, and perceived barriers and facilitators. There is a desire for primary prevention activities in Scotland, driven by concerns about high rates of substance use and related harms, and a general lack of effective and evidence based prevention activities across the country. Several key barriers would need to be addressed in order for implementation to be successful, and participants were clear that initial piloting is required. Future research and evaluation is required to examine its potential and the outcomes of the approach in Scotland.
Carver, H., McCulloch, P., & Parkes, T. (2021). How might the 'Icelandic model' for preventing substance use among young people be developed and adapted for use in Scotland? Utilising the consolidated framework for implementation research in a qualitative exploratory study. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1742. doi:10.1186/s12889-021-11828-z