Barriers to Treatment for Alcohol Dependence

Author(s): Camilla May, Anette Sogaard Nielsen and Randi Bilberg*


Introduction: Globally, Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) has a negative impact on health, economy and the quality of life for afflicted individuals, their family and friends. The following study aims to identify barriers to treatment of alcohol dependence, as perceived by individuals suffering from AUD, by means of through a systematic review.

Material and methods: PubMed, Scopus and PsycINFO databases were searched for relevant publications the 27th of February 2018. 492 articles where initially identified, of which 16 were eligible for inclusion in our analysis. The study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraised Skills program (CASP) checklist for qualitative studies, and the Checklist for systematics reviews (CFR) for quantitative studies.

Results and discussion: This systematic review has investigated and identified barriers to treatment that vary greatly according to personal, cultural, institutional, ethnic and gender-specific factors. Three barriers proved to be prominent: Shame and stigma, lack of perception of treatment need and the paradox of both need for and fear of giving up drinking.

Conclusion: A recommendation is to include in-depth questions about barriers in large national surveys. Additionally, to apple special considerations with regards to the aforementioned specific factors, when developing and offering treatment to subgroups with AUD.

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