Client segmentation in service planning for people with problematic substance abuse and its effectiveness

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 09:00 to 19:30
Digital kiosks


Requirements for the availability of information on effectiveness in social and health services have intensified, but there has been little research on effectiveness in social services and its main client groups. Information on effectiveness is particularly significant when working with clients in need of special support, such as people with substance abuse problems. Addressing the varied and diverse needs of substance abusing clients requires more precise targeting of services.

There is a great need to produce information on effectiveness when designing substance abuse services and future social and health care solutions. This study delves into the segmentation of substance-abusing clients and the development of service effectiveness through the digital Suuntima tool in Finland. Based on the client’s and employee’s assessment of the client’s situation, Suuntima divides clients into four segments and service paths. The aim of the research project is to determine whether the Suuntima service path will deliver more wellbeing and value for the client than the traditional service path.

The research project employs a mixed-methods approach and utilizes both quantitative and qualitative data sets. In this study we interviewed professionals from research and control units in order to compare how professionals experience the effectiveness of client service planning in the test group using Suuntima and the non-using control group.

It appears that there are many structural and practical obstacles in implementing new digital tools. Traditional, individual service planning was considered superior also in research units that were supposed to use the digital tool. In this presentation those obstacles are presented in detail.

In implementing new digital tools, more bottom-up approach is needed to improve the fluency, quality and effectiveness of substance abuse treatment and the allocation of the resources available.



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