Open Access Protocol

Effectiveness of brief interventions as part of the screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) model for reducing the non-medical use of psychoactive substances: a systematic review protocol

Matthew M Young12*, Adrienne Stevens3, Amy Porath-Waller1, Tyler Pirie1, Chantelle Garritty3, Becky Skidmore4, Lucy Turner3, Cheryl Arratoon1, Nancy Haley56, Karen Leslie7, Rhoda Reardon8, Beth Sproule9, Jeremy Grimshaw103 and David Moher113

Author Affiliations

1 Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), 75 Albert Street, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5E7, Canada

2 Department of Psychology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada

3 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Ottawa Hospital - General Campus, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada

4 Independent Research and Information Consultant, Ottawa, Canada

5 Département de Pédiatrie, Hôpital Sainte-Justine, 3175 Ch DE LA Cote-Sainte-Cath, Montréal, QC, H3T 1C5, Canada

6 Direction de Santé Publique de Montréal, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC, H3C 3J7, Canada

7 Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G 1X8, Canada

8 College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, 80 College Street, Toronto, ON, M5G 2E2, Canada

9 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1, Canada

10 Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M5, Canada

11 Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8M5, Canada

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Systematic Reviews 2012, 1:22  doi:10.1186/2046-4053-1-22

Published: 7 May 2012

Abstract

Background

There is a significant public health burden associated with substance use in Canada. The early detection and/or treatment of risky substance use has the potential to dramatically improve outcomes for those who experience harms from the non-medical use of psychoactive substances, particularly adolescents whose brains are still undergoing development. The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model is a comprehensive, integrated approach for the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for individuals experiencing substance use-related harms, as well as those who are at risk of experiencing such harm.

Methods

This article describes the protocol for a systematic review of the effectiveness of brief interventions as part of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model for reducing the non-medical use of psychoactive substances. Studies will be selected in which brief interventions target non-medical psychoactive substance use (excluding alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine) among those 12 years and older who are opportunistically screened and deemed at risk of harms related to psychoactive substance use. We will include one-on-one verbal interventions and exclude non-verbal brief interventions (for example, the provision of information such as a pamphlet or online interventions) and group interventions. Primary, secondary and adverse outcomes of interest are prespecified. Randomized controlled trials will be included; non-randomized controlled trials, controlled before-after studies and interrupted time series designs will be considered in the absence of randomized controlled trials. We will search several bibliographic databases (for example, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, CORK) and search sources for grey literature. We will meta-analyze studies where possible. We will conduct subgroup analyses, if possible, according to drug class and intervention setting.

Discussion

This review will provide evidence on the effectiveness of brief interventions as part of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment protocol aimed at the non-medical use of psychoactive substances and may provide guidance as to where future research might be most beneficial.

Keywords:
Brief intervention; Drug use; Psychoactive substance; Referral to treatment; SBIRT; Screening; Substance use; Systematic review