The efficacy of Personalized Normative Feedback interventions across addictions: A systematic review and meta-analysis
journal contributionposted on 2021-04-01, 00:00 authored by J Saxton, S N Rodda, N Booth, Stephanie MerkourisStephanie Merkouris, Nicki DowlingNicki Dowling
Personalized Normative Feedback (PNF) may help address addictive disorders. PNF highlights discrepancies between perceived and actual peer norms, juxtaposed against self-reported behavior. PNF can be self-directed and cost-efficient. Our study estimates the efficacy of PNF alone, and in combination with other self-directed interventions, to address frequency and symptom severity of hazardous alcohol use, problem gambling, illicit drug and tobacco use. We searched electronic databases, grey literature, and reference lists of included articles, for randomized controlled trials published in English (January 2000-August 2019). We assessed study quality using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool. Thirty-four studies met inclusion criteria (k = 28 alcohol, k = 3 gambling, k = 3 cannabis, k = 0 tobacco). Thirty studies provided suitable data for meta-analyses. PNF alone, and with additional interventions, reduced short-term alcohol frequency and symptom severity. PNF with additional interventions reduced short-term gambling symptom severity. Effect sizes were small. PNF did not alter illicit drug use. Findings highlight the efficacy of PNF to address alcohol frequency and symptom severity. The limited number of studies suggest further research is needed to ascertain the efficacy of PNF for gambling and illicit drug use. Cost-effectiveness analyses are required to determine the scale of PNF needed to justify its use in various settings.