Effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for reducing parental substance misuse

Ruth McGovern*, James Newham, Michelle Addison, Matthew Hickman, Eileen Kaner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Parental substance use is a substantial public health and safeguarding concern. There have been a number of trials of interventions relating to substance‐using parents that have sought to address this risk factor, with potential outcomes for parent and child.

To assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in reducing parental substance use (alcohol and/or illicit drugs, excluding tobacco).

Search methods:
We searched the following databases from their inception to July 2020: the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group Specialised Register; CENTRAL; MEDLINE; Embase; PsycINFO; CINAHL; Applied Social Science (ASSIA); Sociological Abstracts; Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ClinicalTrials.gov, WHO ICTRP, and TRoPHI. We also searched key journals and the reference lists of included papers and contacted authors publishing in the field.

Selection criteria:
We included data from trials of complex psychosocial interventions targeting substance use in parents of children under the age of 21 years. Studies were only included if they had a minimum follow‐up period of six months from the start of the intervention and compared psychosocial interventions to comparison conditions. The primary outcome of this review was a reduction in the frequency of parental substance use.

Data collection and analysis:
We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD012823
Number of pages104
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021


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