Effectiveness Bank bulletin 28 August 2014

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Service safeguards welfare yet avoids children being taken in to care
Avoiding children at serious risk being taken in to care can jeopardise their welfare, but in Wales Option 2 seems to have avoided that pitfall by working intensively with substance using parents commonly facing imminent care proceedings. This second evaluation found the cost-saving service helps keep children at home without inadvertently causing harm.
Also see the earlier Option 2 evaluation and this Effectiveness Bank hot topic.

Incentivising therapists improves performance but not outcomes
Financial incentives may be welcome extra cash for services and workers, but they do not always help the patients. In this US study of young substance users, incentives to therapists improved implementation of a therapy without further helping patients overcome substance use problems. It could be the therapy was not effective enough, or that incentives distorted its implementation.

Scotland tests whether licensing can serve public health objectives
Scotland’s pioneering alcohol licensing reforms could lead the way for the rest of the UK. A major positive was the brokering role of specialist local authority officers, but the far-reaching innovation of adding public health to licensing objectives foundered on the difficulty of relating decisions on individual premises to health across an area.

Does screening for risky drinking improve on clinical judgement?
At first glance the policy emphasis on systematic screening to identify risky drinkers seems justified by this review. Without this, GPs and other doctors and nurses missed about half the risky drinkers they saw. But that is better than in many screening programmes, prompting the reviewers to query whether these really do improve on clinical judgement.

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.