So there he was, with the boy’s head in his hands. The boy was 12, but looked no more than 10 years old. He was deeply jaundiced and in a heroin withdrawal. It was 1981; Fergus O’Kelly was a family physician in the inner city Dublin, Ireland.
Complex interventions are best fashioned in stages, says the Medical Research Council in the U.K. They came up with a 6-step recipe for untangling complex health interventions. The recipe can help those of us who are researchers define their interventions and evaluate their implementation.
Substance use disorder treatment is a complex problem. Complex problems require complex interventions, ideally tested via randomised controlled trials.
Read the paper in the December 2018 issue of the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine:
The paper was first published online in August 2016.
The case study of the boy mentioned at the beginning was published in 1986 in this paper: Ryan, WJ, Arthurs, Y, Kelly, MG, Fielding, JF (1982). Heroin abuse with hepatitis b virus associated chronic active hepatitis in a twelve-year-old child: a non-fictitious pulitzer prize. Irish Medical Journal 75, 166.