A Systematic Review of School-Based Alcohol and other Drug Prevention Programs
Roberta Agabio 1, *, Giuseppina Trincas 2, Francesca Floris 2, Gioia Mura 2, Federica Sancassiani2, Matthias C. Angermeyer2, 3
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2015
Issue: Suppl 1: M6
First Page: 102
Last Page: 112
Publisher ID: CPEMH-11-102
Article History:Received Date: 4/10/2014
Revision Received Date: 20/10/2014
Acceptance Date: 20/10/2014
Electronic publication date: 26/2/2015
Collection year: 2015
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
Alcohol use in adolescents constitutes a major public health concern. Europe is the heaviest drinking region of the world. Several school-based alcohol prevention programs have been developed but it is not clear whether they are really effective. The present study was aimed at identifying the typology with the best evidence of effectiveness in European studies.
A systematic search of meta-analyses and/or randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on interventions school-based prevention programs aimed at preventing alcohol consumption or changing the attitudes to consume alcohol.
A meta-analysis published in 2011 and 12 RCTs more recently published were identified. The meta-analysis evaluated 53 RCTs but only 11.3% of them were conducted in Europe. Globally, 23 RCTs (43.4%) showed some evidence of effectiveness, and 30 RCTs (56.6%) did not find significant difference between the groups. According to the conclusions of the meta-analysis, the Unplugged program should be considered as a practice option in Europe. Among the other 12 RCTs, 42% were conducted in Europe. Globally, 7 studies (58.3%) achieved positive results, and 5 studies (41.7%) did not find significant differences or produced a mixed pattern of results. Three of the 5 European trials (60%) used the Unplugged program with positive results.
Even if further studies should be conducted to confirm these results, Unplugged appears to be the prevention project with the best evidence of effectiveness in European studies.