A systematic review of the efficacy of alcohol interventions for incarcerated people

Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Jennifer Ferguson, Sarah Landale, Emma Giles, Grant McGeechan, C. E. (Charlotte) Gill, K. J. (Kelly) Stockdale, Aisha Holloway

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Abstract

AIM: The aim of this current study was to systematically review the literature on brief alcohol interventions for incarcerated individuals to ascertain the efficacy or effectiveness in making changes to either consumption of alcohol or other social outcomes. INTRODUCTION: It has been shown that around three times as many incarcerated individuals are risky drinkers and alcohol dependency is ten times higher than in the general population. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials or matched group trials of the efficacy of psychosocial alcohol interventions for incarcerated individuals. We searched seven databases, with no restrictions on language, year, or locations from inception through to August 2017. The CASP tool was used to assess the quality of included studies. The TIDieR checklist was used to ascertain intervention descriptions. RESULTS: Nine studies from 11 papers were included in the analysis. Six of the studies included brief intervention and three extended interventions. Every study used a different measure of alcohol consumption. Three of the studies that looked at brief interventions and all of the three extended intervention studies found significant reductions in relation to alcohol outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Results show that interventions in the prison setting have the potential to positively impact on alcohol use; however, because of small numbers and the use of different outcome measures we could not conduct a meta-analysis or generalise findings. We discuss methodological considerations to carrying out research in this setting, including using different outcome measures as well as gaps in the literature. SUMMARY Levels of risky drinking and dependency are high amongst incarcerated individuals. Eleven studies from nine articles were included in the systematic review. Six of the studies included brief intervention and three extended interventions. Interventions have the potential to positively impact on risky drinking. More studies are needed in this setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-425
Number of pages14
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2018

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