School-Based Programmes for Preventing Smoking.

School-based programmes for preventing smoking.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; 4: CD001293
Thomas RE, McLellan J, Perera R

Helping young people to avoid starting smoking is a widely endorsed public health goal, and schools provide a route to communicate with nearly all young people. School-based interventions have been delivered for close to 40 years.The primary aim of this review was to determine whether school smoking interventions prevent youth from starting smoking. Our secondary objective was to determine which interventions were most effective. This included evaluating the effects of theoretical approaches; additional booster sessions; programme deliverers; gender effects; and multifocal interventions versus those focused solely on smoking.We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group’s Specialised Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsyclNFO, ERIC, CINAHL, Health Star, and Dissertation Abstracts for terms relating to school-based smoking cessation programmes. In addition, we screened the bibliographies of articles and ran individual MEDLINE searches for 133 authors who had undertaken randomised controlled trials in this area. The most recent searches were conducted in October 2012.We selected randomised controlled trials (RCTs) where students, classes, schools, or school districts were randomised to intervention arm(s) versus a control group, and followed for at least six months. Participants had to be youth (aged 5 to 18). Interventions could be any curricula used in a school setting to deter tobacco use, and outcome measures could be never smoking, frequency of smoking, number of cigarettes smoked, or smoking indices.Two reviewers independently assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Based on the type of outcome, we placed studies into three groups for analysis: Pure Prevention cohorts (Group 1), Change in Smoking Behaviour over time (Group 2) and Point Prevalence of Smoking (Group 3).One hundred and thirty-four studies involving 428,293 participants met the inclusion criteria. Some studies provided data for more than one group.Pure Prevention cohorts (Group 1) included 49 studies (N = 142,447). Pooled results at follow-up at one year or less found no overall effect of intervention curricula versus control (odds ratio (OR) 0.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85 to 1.05). In a subgroup analysis, the combined social competence and social influences curricula (six RCTs) showed a statistically significant effect in preventing the onset of smoking (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.87; seven arms); whereas significant effects were not detected in programmes involving information only (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.00 to 14.87; one study), social influences only (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.13; 25 studies), or multimodal interventions (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.08; five studies). In contrast, pooled results at longest follow-up showed an overall significant effect favouring the intervention (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.96). Subgroup analyses detected significant effects in programmes with social competence curricula (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.30 to 0.88), and the combined social competence and social influences curricula (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.87), but not in those programmes with information only, social influence only, and multimodal programmes.Change in Smoking Behaviour over time (Group 2) included 15 studies (N = 45,555). At one year or less there was a small but statistically significant effect favouring controls (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.04, 95% CI 0.02 to 0.06). For follow-up longer than one year there was a statistically nonsignificant effect (SMD 0.02, 95% CI -0.00 to 0.02).Twenty-five studies reported data on the Point Prevalence of Smoking (Group 3), though heterogeneity in this group was too high for data to be pooled.We were unable to analyse data for 49 studies (N = 152,544).Subgroup analyses (Pure Prevention cohorts only) demonstrated that at longest follow-up for all curricula combined, there was a significant effect favouring adult presenters (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.96). There were no differences between tobacco-only and multifocal interventions. For curricula with booster sessions there was a significant effect only for combined social competence and social influences interventions with follow-up of one year or less (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.96) and at longest follow-up (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.96). Limited data on gender differences suggested no overall effect, although one study found an effect of multimodal intervention at one year for male students. Sensitivity analyses for Pure Prevention cohorts and Change in Smoking Behaviour over time outcomes suggested that neither selection nor attrition bias affected the results.Pure Prevention cohorts showed a significant effect at longest follow-up, with an average 12% reduction in starting smoking compared to the control groups. However, no overall effect was detected at one year or less. The combined social competence and social influences interventions showed a significant effect at one year and at longest follow-up. Studies that deployed a social influences programme showed no overall effect at any time point; multimodal interventions and those with an information-only approach were similarly ineffective.Studies reporting Change in Smoking Behaviour over time did not show an overall effect, but at an intervention level there were positive findings for social competence and combined social competence and social influences interventions. HubMed – addiction


Take-Home Emergency Naloxone to Prevent Heroin Overdose Deaths after Prison Release: Rationale and Practicalities for the N-ALIVE Randomized Trial.

J Urban Health. 2013 May 1;
Strang J, Bird SM, Parmar MK

The naloxone investigation (N-ALIVE) randomized trial commenced in the UK in May 2012, with the preliminary phase involving 5,600 prisoners on release. The trial is investigating whether heroin overdose deaths post-prison release can be prevented by prior provision of a take-home emergency supply of naloxone. Heroin contributes disproportionately to drug deaths through opiate-induced respiratory depression. Take-home emergency naloxone is a novel preventive measure for which there have been encouraging preliminary reports from community schemes. Overdoses are usually witnessed, and drug users themselves and also family members are a vast intervention workforce who are willing to intervene, but whose responses are currently often inefficient or wrong. Approximately 10% of provided emergency naloxone is thought to be used in subsequent emergency resuscitation but, as yet, there have been no definitive studies. The period following release from prison is a time of extraordinarily high mortality, with heroin overdose deaths increased more than sevenfold in the first fortnight after release. Of prisoners with a previous history of heroin injecting who are released from prison, 1 in 200 will die of a heroin overdose within the first 4 weeks. There are major scientific and logistical challenges to assessing the impact of take-home naloxone. Even in recently released prisoners, heroin overdose death is a relatively rare event: hence, large numbers of prisoners need to enter the trial to assess whether take-home naloxone significantly reduces the overdose death rate. The commencement of pilot phase of the N-ALIVE trial is a significant step forward, with prisoners being randomly assigned either to treatment-as-usual or to treatment-as-usual plus a supply of take-home emergency naloxone. The subsequent full N-ALIVE trial (contingent on a successful pilot) will involve 56,000 prisoners on release, and will give a definitive conclusion on lives saved in real-world application. Advocates call for implementation, while naysayers raise concerns. The issue does not need more public debate; it needs good science. HubMed Рaddiction


Web-streamed didactic instruction on substance use disorders compares favorably with live-lecture format.

Acad Psychiatry. 2013 May 1; 37(3): 165-70
Maher KH, Brower KJ, Mullan PB, Gay T, Gruppen LD

OBJECTIVE Education about substance use disorders in medical schools and, subsequently, physicians’ identification of and intervention in these diagnoses lag behind that of most other disabling disorders. To reduce barriers and improve access to education about this major public health concern, medical schools are increasingly adopting web-based instruction on substance use and other psychiatric disorders as part of their curricula; however, it is not well known how a web-streamed lecture compares with a traditional one. The authors hypothesized that both these formats would be equally efficacious in terms of knowledge acquisition and student satisfaction. METHOD Authors conducted a prospective study to test this hypothesis among third-year medical students who received web-streamed lecture on substance use/addiction versus those who received a traditional live lecture. RESULTS Of the 243 students, significantly more students completed the on-line lecture series. Of the 216 students in the final study sample, 130 (60%) were assigned to the web-streamed lecture and 86 (40%) to the live lecture. Within-subject comparisons of pre- and post-lecture scores for the entire cohort indicated a significant improvement in the percentage of correct answers (21.0% difference). Although no differences in improved scores between the two groups were found, students in the live-lecture group reported small, but significantly higher levels of satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS This preliminary work supports the hypothesis that a web-streamed lecture can be at least equally efficacious as a traditional lecture in terms of knowledge acquisition. However, attention needs to be paid to the lower satisfaction levels associated with using the web-streamed format. HubMed – addiction


Improved Drinking Behaviour Improves Quality of Life: A Follow-Up in Alcohol-Dependent Subjects 7 Years After Treatment.

Alcohol Alcohol. 2013 Apr 29;
Frischknecht U, Sabo T, Mann K

Aim: The present study relates alcohol-dependent patients’ Quality of Life (QoL) 7 years after treatment to drinking status as the conventional endpoint of trials. Potential moderating factors such as patients’ smoking status, additional healthcare usage and stressful life events were accounted for. Methods: Seven years after being treated for alcoholism, n = 127 alcohol-dependent patients filled out the Munich List of Quality of Life Dimensions (MLDL), a generic QoL questionnaire and were re-examined in telephone interviews. Patients’ drinking and smoking behaviours during the previous year and additional healthcare usage and whether or not they had experienced stressful life events during the whole follow-up period were assessed. Results: Patients reporting abstinence or improved drinking showed significantly higher QoL ratings than patients whose drinking had not improved. Smoking status had no significant effect on QoL. Patients who used additional healthcare during the follow-up period reported lower QoL. The same was true of those who had experienced stressful life events. Conclusions: Improved drinking after a 7-year follow-up is associated with improved QoL even when considering other factors such as additional healthcare use and stressful life events. We conclude that QoL can be an additional endpoint in treatment trials. HubMed – addiction


Association of OPRM1 and COMT single-nucleotide polymorphisms with hospital length of stay and treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome.

JAMA. 2013 May 1; 309(17): 1821-7
Wachman EM, Hayes MJ, Brown MS, Paul J, Harvey-Wilkes K, Terrin N, Huggins GS, Aranda JV, Davis JM

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) caused by in utero opioid exposure is a growing problem; genetic factors influencing the incidence and severity have not been previously examined. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ?-opioid receptor (OPRM1), multidrug resistance (ABCB1), and catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) genes are associated with risk for opioid addiction in adults.To determine whether SNPs in the OPRM1, ABCB1, and COMT genes are associated with length of hospital stay and the need for treatment of NAS.Prospective multicenter cohort study conducted at 5 tertiary care centers and community hospitals in Massachusetts and Maine between July 2011 and July 2012. DNA samples were genotyped for SNPs, and then NAS outcomes were correlated with genotype. Eighty-six of 140 eligible mother-infant dyads were enrolled. Infants were eligible if they were 36 weeks’ gestational age or older and exposed to methadone or buprenorphine in utero . MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Primary outcome measure was length of hospital stay, with between-group differences expressed as ? and calculated with linear regression models. Secondary outcome measures included need for any medical treatment for NAS and treatment with 2 or more medications.Infants with the OPRM1 118A>G AG/GG genotype had shortened length of stay (? = -8.5 days; 95% CI, -14.9 to -2.1 days; P = .009) and were less likely to receive any treatment than AA infants (48% vs 72%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63-0.96; P = .006). The COMT 158A>G AG/GG genotype was associated with shortened length of stay (? = -10.8 days; 95% CI, -18.2 to -3.4 days; P = .005) and less treatment with 2 or more medications (18% vs 56%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.55-0.86; P = .001) than the AA genotype. Associations with the ABCB1 SNPs were not significant.Among infants with NAS, variants in the OPRM1 and COMT genes were associated with a shorter length of hospital stay and less need for treatment. These preliminary findings may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying NAS. HubMed – addiction