The impact of an annual mass media campaign on treatment seeking for alcohol use disorders in the Danish population: An interrupted time-series analysis

Sara Wallhed Finn*, Anna Mejldal, Anette Søgaard Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction: A minority of individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) seek treatment. In Denmark, a mass media campaign, “RESPEKT”, aiming to increase treatment seeking, has been broadcasted nationwide since 2015. The campaign is unique from an international perspective. Similar interventions have, up until now, not been scientifically evaluated. Aim: To investigate whether there was an association between campaign periods and treatment seeking for AUD. A secondary aim was to investigate possible gender differences. The hypotheses were that treatment seeking would increase during the campaign periods, and that men would increase their treatment seeking more compared to women. Method: Study design: Interrupted time-series analysis. Participants: Adults aged 18 years and above in the Danish population seeking AUD treatment. Exposure: Campaign periods year 2015–2018. Outcome: Changes in treatment seeking defined as treatment entry respectively filled prescription of AUD pharmacotherapy. Data: National Alcohol Treatment Register on treatment entries for specialist addiction care and National Prescription Registry for filled prescriptions on AUD pharmacotherapies 2013–2018. Analysis: Segmented negative binomial regression, including the full cohort and stratified by sex. Results: The results show no association between campaign periods and treatment seeking. Nor were there any gender differences in treatment seeking. The hypotheses were not confirmed. Conclusion: The campaign periods showed no association with treatment seeking. Eventual future campaigns should possibly focus on earlier steps of the treatment seeking process, as problem recognition, to increase treatment seeking. There is a great need to develop other ways to narrow the treatment gap for AUD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109910
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume248
Number of pages8
ISSN0376-8716
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Denmark
  • Mass media
  • Treatment
  • Treatment seeking

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