PREPRINT: Few interventions support the affected other on their own: A systematic review of individual level psychosocial interventions to support those harmed by others’ alcohol drinking

Gillian Shorter, Kerry B.D. Campbell, Nicole M Miller, Tracy Epton, Leeanne O'Hara, Sharon Millen, Katarina Ulfsdotter Gunnarsson, Emma Berry, Marcus Bendtsen

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Introduction: Over 100 million individuals worldwide experience negative outcomes as a function of a family member's substance use. Other reviews have summarized evidence on interventions; however, success often depends on the behavior of the individual causing harm, and they may not be ready or able to change. Aim: To identify and describe evaluations of psychosocial interventions which can support those affected by alcohol harm to others independent of their drinking relative or friend.

Methods: A systematic review/narrative synthesis of articles from 11 databases pre-registered on PROSPERO (CRD42021203204).

Results: Those experiencing the harm were spouses/partners, or adult children/students who have parents with alcohol problems. Studies (n=7) are from the UK, USA, Korea, Sweden, Mexico, and India. Most participants were female (71-100%). Interventions varied from guided imagery, cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and anger management. Independent interventions may support those affected by another's alcohol use, although there was considerable variation in outcomes targeted by the intervention design.

Conclusions: Small-scale studies suggest brief interventions ease suffering from alcohol's harm to others, independent of the drinking family member. Understanding affected others’ experience and need is important given the impact of alcohol’s harm to others; however, there is a lack of quality evidence informing strategies to support these individuals.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherResearch Square
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • affected other
  • alcohol
  • psychosocial intervention
  • systematic review
  • family

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