Publications & Reports

'The Drug Survey App': a protocol for developing and validating an interactive population survey tool for drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Conigrave JH, Wilson S, Conigrave KM, Chikritzhs T, Hayman N, Dawson A, Ali R, Perry J, Fitts MS, Degenhardt L, Doyle M, Egert S, Slade T, Ezard N, Dzidowska M, Lee KSK


Background: Disadvantage and transgenerational trauma contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) Australians being more likely to experience adverse health consequences from alcohol and other drug use than non-Indigenous peoples. Addressing these health inequities requires local monitoring of alcohol and other drug use. While culturally appropriate methods for measuring drinking patterns among Indigenous Australians have been established, no similar methods are available for measuring other drug use patterns (amount and frequency of consumption). This paper describes a protocol for creating and validating a tablet-based survey for alcohol and other drugs (“The Drug Survey App”).

Methods: The Drug Survey App will be co-designed with stakeholders including Indigenous Australian health professionals, addiction specialists, community leaders, and researchers. The App will allow participants to describe their drug use flexibly with an interactive, visual interface. The validity of estimated consumption patterns, and risk assessments will be tested against those made in clinical interviews conducted by Indigenous Australian health professionals. We will then trial the App as a population survey tool by using the App to determine the prevalence of substance use in two Indigenous communities.

Discussion: The App could empower Indigenous Australian communities to conduct independent research that informs local prevention and treatment efforts.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Addiction Science and Clinical Practice
  • Published: 14/03/2022
  • Volume: 17
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 17