Effectiveness Bank bulletin 26 September 2014

Latest additions to the Effectiveness Bank range through early-years prevention to harm reduction, brief intervention and treatment.

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New evidence on protecting vulnerable youngsters
Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence assesses new evidence relevant to its guidance on reducing substance misuse among vulnerable young people. Highlights included a study supporting intensive community nursing support for disadvantaged expectant and new mothers.

Combined, high coverage harm reduction services curb hepatitis C
Between 2008 and 2012, combined needle exchange and methadone maintenance contributed to 1000 fewer Scottish injectors facing chronic infection with hepatitis C. Analysis reinforces UK-wide evidence that harm reduction services can intercept spread of this highly transmissible virus.
Also see similar UK-wide study.

Do brief interventions work in real-world trials?
The probation arm of the largest such study yet conducted in Britain found that the proportion of offenders drinking at risky levels fell just as much after a terse warning as after a structured brief intervention – an example of the lack of impact of brief interventions in real-world trials?
Also see the corresponding primary care and emergency department trials.

Is mindfulness therapy an effective supplement to usual treatment?
Promising signs that integrating Buddhism-inspired mindfulness elements with CBT creates a more effective supplement to aftercare than a purely cognitive behavioural approach. The study was relatively large and had a longer than usual follow-up period – but is one study at a single treatment agency enough to overturn previous findings of equivalent outcomes?
Also see Findings analysis of a review of mindfulness meditation for substance use problems.

Seminal study of what makes for an effective methadone service
Revived as a seminal study for our Matrix Bites course, rather than a ‘methadone dispensary’ model, this study from 1995 of three Australian clinics highlighted the importance of good organisation and an ethos of individualised treatment and care for patients.

Sent by Drug and Alcohol Findings Effectiveness Bank to alert you to site updates and UK-relevant evaluations of drug/alcohol interventions. Managed by DrugScope, Alcohol Concern, the National Addiction Centre and Alcohol Research UK. Supported by Alcohol Research UK, Society for the Study of Addiction, and J. Paul Getty Jr. Charitable Trust.