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16-09-2021 | Review | Uitgave 11/2021 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 11/2021

Integrated Treatment Programmes for Mothers with Substance Use Problems: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Interventions to Prevent Out-of-home Child Placements

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 11/2021
Samantha H. F. Neo, Sam Norton, Despoina Kavallari, Martha Canfield
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Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-021-02099-8.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Approximately half of mothers receiving substance use treatment are involved with childcare proceedings. This review aims to determine whether integrated treatment programmes for mothers with substance use problems are effective in preventing out-of-home placement (temporally/permanent) and influencing other maternal factors such as patterns of substance use, treatment completion and parenting behaviours. Six trials were identified—two randomised controlled trials and four non-randomised controlled studies. The pooled sample of participants was 1717. The results showed that mothers who participated in integrated treatment programmes were significantly less likely to have the children removed from their care (Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.27, 0.61), more likely to complete substance use treatment (OR = 3.01, 95% CI = 1.79, 5.06), and more likely to reduce their alcohol consumption (Standardised Mean Difference (SMD) = −0.40, 95% Cl = −0.78, −0.01) and drug use (SMD = −0.30, 95% CI = −0.53, −0.07). However, non-significant reductions were observed for parent–child conflict (SMD = −0.35, 95% CI = −0.72, 0.03) and child abuse risk (SMD = −0.03, 95% CI = −0.36, 0.31). While the findings from this review suggest that mothers involved in integrated treatment programmes could potentially be less likely to experience out-of-home child placements and more likely to improve substance use treatment outcomes, little evidence exists for the effectiveness of these interventions. Further research, particularly high-quality RCTs, is required to demonstrate and persuade health and public policy on the far-reaching value of the integrated approaches.

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