Psychosocial interventions for addiction-affected families in Low and Middle Income Countries: A systematic review

Anil Rane, Sydney Church, Urvita Bhatia, Jim Orford, Richard Velleman, Abhijit Nadkarni

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13 Citations (Scopus)
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To review the literature on psychosocial interventions for addiction affected family members in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC).


A systematic review with a detailed search strategy focussing on psychosocial interventions directed towards people affected by addiction without any gender, year or language specifications was conducted. Identified titles and abstracts were screened; where needed full papers retrieved, and then independently reviewed. Data was extracted based on the aims of the study, to describe the modalities, acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of the interventions.


Four papers met our selection criteria. They were published between 2003 and 2014; the total sample size was 137 participants, and two studies were from Mexico and one each from Vietnam and Malaysia. The predominantly female participants comprised of parents, spouses and siblings. The common components of all the interventions included providing information regarding addiction, teaching coping skills, and providing support. Though preliminary these small studies suggests a positive effect on affected family members (AFM). There was lowering of psychological and physical distress, along with a better understanding of addictive behaviour. The interventions led to better coping; with improvements in self-esteem and assertive behaviour. The interventions, mostly delivered in group settings, were largely acceptable.


The limited evidence does suggest positive benefits to AFMs. The scope of research needs to be extended to other addictions, and family members other than spouse and female relatives. Indigenous and locally adapted interventions are needed to address this issue keeping in mind the limited resources of LMIC. This is a field indeed in its infancy and this under recognised and under-served group needs urgent attention of researchers and policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalAddictive Behaviours
Early online date17 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Psycho-social interventions
  • Addictions
  • Affected family members
  • LMIC
  • Systematic reviews
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Drug misuse
  • Families


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