Home > Exploring arts-based interventions for youth substance use prevention: a scoping review of literature.

Maina, Geoffrey and Li, Yiyan and Fang, Yiting and Amoyaw, Jonathan and Pandey, Mamata and Herzog, Thea and Nkrumah, Daniel and Sherstobitoff, Jordan and Mousavian, Ghazal (2022) Exploring arts-based interventions for youth substance use prevention: a scoping review of literature. BMC Public Health, 22, 2281. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-14714-4.

External website: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles...

INTRODUCTION: There is a rise in problematic substance use among Canadian youth, which is precipitating a public health crisis. Interventions are needed to empower youth to mitigate substance use risks. Active youth involvement in substance use prevention is urgently needed to increase uptake and ownership of the process and outcome of the intervention. Arts-based interventions are ideal participatory action approaches that can empower young people to be active agents in substance use prevention. These approaches can help promote health, reduce harm, and change behaviours. Scoping reviews are a vital tool that can help the research team identify relevant interventions that can be adapted to a community.

METHODS: This scoping review explores various arts-based substance use prevention interventions for youth. The scoping review used the iterative stages of Arksey and O'Malley to search Portal ERIC, Ovid MEDLINE, C.I.N.A.H.L., E.M.B.A.S.E., Web of Science, and A.P.A. PsycInfo and grey literature from Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction and websites suggested by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Inclusion criteria are a) articles utilizing arts-based intervention on substance use prevention; b) studies with a clearly defined intervention; c) intervention targeting the youth (age 12-17) and d) publications written in English. Thematic analysis was used to identify the main themes from the included articles.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Themes identified in a thematic synthesis of these studies included a) the intent of the intervention; b) intervention characteristics; and c) the perceived effectiveness of interventions. Art-based interventions increased knowledge and changed attitudes and practices on substance use among youth. Making the interventions aesthetically appealing and engaging, active youth involvement in the development of the intervention and developing youth-centred interventions which attended to the realities they faced were central to the success of these interventions.

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