The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions at reducing the frequency of alcohol and drug use in parents: findings of a Cochrane review and meta-analyses

Ruth McGovern*, JJ. Newham, M. Addison, Matt Hickman, E. Kaner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and aim:
Parental substance use is a major public health and safeguarding concern. There have been a number of trials examining interventions targeting this risk factor. We aimed to estimate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions at reducing parental substance use.

Design:
Meta-analysis. We used systematic methods to identify trials of psychosocial interventions including those that targeted drug and alcohol use only, and drug and alcohol use in combination with associated issues. We pooled data using a random-effects model. Moderator analyses examined influence of parent gender, presence of child in treatment, and intervention type.

Setting:
No restrictions on setting.

Participants:
Substance using parents of children below the age of 21 years.

Measurements:
Frequency of alcohol use and frequency of drug use.

Findings:
We included 8 unique studies with a total of 703 participants. Psychosocial interventions were more effective at reducing the frequency of parental alcohol use than comparison conditions at 6-month (standardised mean difference [SMD] - 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] -0.51 to -0.13, P = 0.001) and 12-month follow-up (SMD -0.25, 95% CI -0.47 to -0.03, P = 0.02), and frequency of parental drug use at 12 months only (SMD-0.21, 95% CI -0.41 to -0.01, P = 0.04). Integrated interventions which combined both parenting and substance use targeted components were effective at reducing the frequency of alcohol use (6 months: SMD -0.56, 95% CI -0.96 to -0.016, P = 0.006; 12 months: SMD -0.42, 95% CI -0.82 to -0.03, P = 0.04) and drug use (6 months: SMD -0.39, 95% CI -0.75 to -0.03, P = 0.04; 12 months: SMD -0.43, 95% CI -0.80 to -0.07, P = 0.02). Interventions targeting only substance use or parenting skills were not effective at reducing frequency of alcohol or drug use at either time point.

Conclusion:
Integrated psychosocial interventions targeting parenting and substance use may be superior at reducing parental alcohol and drug use than treatment as usual or other comparison conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2571-2582
Number of pages12
JournalAddiction
Volume117
Issue number10
Early online date21 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
R.McG. has been funded to undertake this systematic review by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) personal fellowships (NIHR PDF‐2014‐07‐045). E.K. is in receipt of support from an NIHR Senior Scientist Award.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction.

Keywords

  • alchol
  • drugs
  • meta-analysis
  • parent
  • psychosocial intervention

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