Home > Are mass-media campaigns effective in preventing drug use? A Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis.

Allara, Elias and Ferri, Marica and Bo, Alessandra and Gasparrini, Antonio and Faggiano, Fabrizio (2015) Are mass-media campaigns effective in preventing drug use? A Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open , 5 , (9) , e007449.

URL: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/9/e007449.long

OBJECTIVE
To determine whether there is evidence that mass-media campaigns can be effective in reducing illicit drug consumption and the intent to consume.

DESIGN
Systematic review of randomised and non-randomised studies.

METHODS
We searched four electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I and CENTRAL) and further explored seven additional resources to obtain both published and unpublished materials. We appraised the quality of included studies using standardised tools. We carried out meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials and a pooled analysis of interrupted time-series and controlled before-and-after studies.

RESULTS
We identified 19 studies comprising 184,811 participants. Pooled analyses and narrative synthesis provided mixed evidence of effectiveness. Eight interventions evaluated with randomised controlled trials leaned towards no evidence of an effect, both on drug use (standardised mean difference (SMD) -0.02; 95% CI -0.15 to 0.12) and the intention to use drugs (SMD -0.07; 95% CI -0.19 to 0.04). Four campaigns provided some evidence of beneficial effects in preventing drug use and two interventions provided evidence of iatrogenic effects.

CONCLUSIONS
Studies were considerably heterogeneous in type of mass-media intervention, outcome measures, underlying theory, comparison groups and design. Such factors can contribute to explaining the observed variability in results. Owing to the risk of adverse effects, caution is needed in disseminating mass-media campaigns tackling drug use. Large studies conducted with appropriate methodology are warranted to consolidate the evidence base.


Item Type:Article
Date:2015
Page Range:e007449
Volume:5
Number:9
EndNote:View
Subjects:G Health and disease > Public health
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Basic prevention categories > Universal prevention
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
MP-MR Policy, planning, economics, work and social services > Policy > Policy on substance use > Harm reduction policy
VA Geographic area > International aspects

Repository Staff Only: item control page