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Home > Pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorders - unequal provision across sociodemographic factors and co-morbid conditions. A cohort study of the total population in Sweden.

Wallhed Finn, Sara and Lundin, Andreas and Sjöqvist, Hugo and Danielsson, Anna-Karin (2021) Pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorders - unequal provision across sociodemographic factors and co-morbid conditions. A cohort study of the total population in Sweden. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, p. 108964. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108964.

External website: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

BACKGROUND: Pharmacotherapy for alcohol use disorders (AUD) is effective. However, knowledge about utilization of, and patient characteristics associated with prescriptions is scarce. The aim is to investigate prescriptions of pharmacotherapy for AUD in Sweden across time, sociodemographics, domicile and comorbid conditions.

METHOD: This is a national cohort study, comprising 132 733 adult patients with AUD diagnosis between 2007 and 2015. The exposure variables were age, sex, income, education, family constellation, domicile, origin, concurrent psychiatric and somatic co-morbid diagnoses. Logistic regression analyses were used to obtain odds ratios (OR) for any filled prescription of AUD pharmacotherapy; Acamprosate, Disulfiram, Naltrexone or Nalmefene during 12 months after AUD diagnosis.

RESULTS: During the study period, the proportion of individuals who received pharmacotherapy ranged between 22.80 and 23.94 % (χ2(64) = 72.00, p = .23). Female sex, age 31-45, higher education and income, living in a big city, co-habiting and born in Sweden, bar Norway, Denmark and Iceland, were associated with higher odds of pharmacotherapy. Concurrent somatic diagnosis was associated with lower odds of pharmacotherapy but psychiatric diagnosis higher (aOR = 0.61 95 % CI 0.59-0.63 and aOR = 1.61 95 % CI 1.57-1.66 respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacotherapy for AUD is underutilized. The proportion of individuals with a prescription did not change between 2007 and 2015. Provision of treatment is unequal across different groups in society, where especially older age, lower income and education, and co-morbid somatic diagnosis were associated with lower odds of prescription. There is a need to develop treatment provision, particularly for individuals with co-morbid somatic conditions.


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