BACKGROUND: A substantial number of South African women with substance use disorders also report psychological trauma related to experiences of physical and sexual abuse. Trauma-focused substance use programmes may support recovery from co-occurring substance use disorders and psychological trauma, yet integrated programmes are not widely available in South Africa. As part of the process of developing a trauma-focused substance use programme for South African women, we explored service providers' views of the feasibility of implementing trauma-focused substance use interventions within usual care settings in Cape Town, including potential barriers that need to be considered when planning for implementation.
METHODS: We conducted 16 in-depth interviews with key informants responsible for planning or delivering substance use, psychological trauma or gender-based violence services to women in Cape Town. Guided by Extended Normalisation Process Theory, interviews explored participants' perceptions of the potential value of trauma-focused substance use programmes, the feasibility of their implementation, and factors that may facilitate or hinder the implementation of trauma-focused substance use programmes. Qualitative data were analysed using the framework approach.
RESULTS: Three themes emerged: (1) Potential for the implementation of trauma-focused substance use programmes, describing participants' views of the acceptability of these programmes; (2) Capacity for intersectoral collaboration, which participants considered necessary for limiting barriers to implementation; and (3) Co-operation with community structures to enhance capability for implementation.
CONCLUSION: Findings show potential for implementing trauma-focused substance use interventions in South Africa, however context-specific capacity and capability barriers need to be considered and addressed for implementation to be successful.