Research News Roundup: April 21, 2022

    Journal: Plos One, 2022, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266142

    Authors: Jihoon Lim, Imen Farhat, Antonios Douros & Dimitra Panagiotoglou


    Introduction: Several pharmacotherapeutic interventions are available for maintenance treatment for opioid-related disorders. However, previous meta-analyses have been limited to pairwise comparisons of these interventions, and their efficacy relative to all others remains unclear. Our objective was to unify findings from different healthcare practices and generate evidence to strengthen clinical treatment protocols for the most widely prescribed medications for opioid-use disorders.

    Methods: We searched Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CENTRAL, and for all relevant randomized controlled trials (RCT) from database inception to February 12, 2022. Primary outcome was treatment retention, and secondary outcome was opioid use measured by urinalysis. We calculated risk ratios (RR) and 95% credible interval (CrI) using Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) for available evidence. We assessed the credibility of the NMA using the Confidence in Network Meta-Analysis tool.

    Results: Seventy-nine RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Due to heterogeneity in measuring opioid use and reporting format between studies, we conducted NMA only for treatment retention. Methadone was the highest ranked intervention (Surface Under the Cumulative Ranking [SUCRA] = 0.901) in the network with control being the lowest (SUCRA = 0.000). Methadone was superior to buprenorphine for treatment retention (RR = 1.22; 95% CrI = 1.06–1.40) and buprenorphine superior to naltrexone (RR = 1.39; 95% CrI = 1.10–1.80). However, due to a limited number of high-quality trials, confidence in the network estimates of other treatment pairs involving naltrexone and slow-release oral morphine (SROM) remains low.

    Conclusion: All treatments had higher retention than the non-pharmacotherapeutic control group. However, additional high-quality RCTs are needed to estimate more accurately the extent of efficacy of naltrexone and SROM relative to other medications. For pharmacotherapies with established efficacy profiles, assessment of their long-term comparative effectiveness may be warranted

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Effectiveness of Digital Interventions for Preventing Alcohol Consumption in Pregnancy: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    Journal: Journal of Medical Internet Research, 2022, doi: 10.2196/35554

    Authors: Sarah Soyeon Oh, Jong Youn Moon, Doukyoung Chon, Carol Mita & Jourdyn A. Lawrence


    Background: Alcohol consumption in pregnancy has been associated with serious fetal health risks and maternal complications. While previous systematic reviews of digital interventions during pregnancy have targeted smoking cessation and flu vaccine uptake, few studies have sought to evaluate their effectiveness in preventing alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

    Objective: This systematic review aims to assess (1) whether digital interventions are effective in preventing alcohol consumption during the pregnancy/pregnancy-planning period, and (2) the differential effectiveness of alternative digital intervention platforms (ie, computers, mobiles, and text messaging services).

    Methods: PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and Web of Science were searched for studies with digital interventions aiming to prevent alcohol consumption among pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant. A random effects primary meta-analysis was conducted to estimate the combined effect size and extent to which different digital platforms were successful in preventing alcohol consumption in pregnancy.

    Results: Six studies were identified and included in the final review. The primary meta-analysis produced a sample-weighted odds ratio (OR) of 0.62 (95% CI 0.42-0.91; P=.02) in favor of digital interventions decreasing the risk of alcohol consumption during pregnancy when compared to controls. Computer/internet-based interventions (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.38-0.93) were an effective platform for preventing alcohol consumption. Too few studies of text messaging (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.29-2.52) were available to draw a conclusion.

    Conclusions: Overall, our review highlights the potential for digital interventions to prevent alcohol consumption among pregnant women and women planning to become pregnant. Considering the advantages of digital interventions in promoting healthy behavioral changes, future research is necessary to understand how certain platforms may increase user engagement and intervention effectiveness to prevent women from consuming alcohol during their pregnancies.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Effects of a National Campaign on Youth Beliefs and Perceptions About Electronic Cigarettes and Smoking

    Journal: Preventing Chronic Disease, 2022, doi: 10.5888/pcd19.210332

    Authors: Anna J. MacMonegle, Alexandria A. Smith, Jennifer Duke, Morgane Bennett, Leah R. Siegel-Reamer, Lindsay Pitzer, Jessica L. Speer & Xiaoquan Zhao


    Introduction: Our study assesses the relationship between the exposure of youth to the US Food and Drug Administration’s national tobacco public education campaign, The Real Cost, and changes in campaign-focused risk perceptions and beliefs.

    Methods: A nationally representative cohort study of youth was conducted from June 2018 to July 2019, consisting of a baseline and one follow-up survey. We performed logistic regressions to examine the association between campaign exposure and beliefs. Exposure was measured by self-report as the frequency of exposure to individual campaign advertisements about the health consequences of e-cigarette use and of smoking cigarettes.

    Results: We found that increased levels of exposure to campaign advertising was associated with a significant increase in the odds of reporting agreement with campaign-specific beliefs. Positive patterns of findings were found across multiple items selected by specific advertisements, whereas unrelated beliefs were not associated with advertisement exposure.

    Conclusion: A sustained national tobacco public education campaign can change beliefs about the harms of e-cigarette use and cigarette smoking among youth. Combined with other findings from The Real Cost evaluation, results indicate that prevention mass media campaigns continue to be an effective and cost-efficient approach to reduce the health and financial cost of tobacco use in the US.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Longitudinal Trajectories of Multiple Nicotine Product Use Among Youths in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2022, doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3549

    Authors: Patricia Simon, Yannuo Jiang, Eugenia Buta, Carolyn E. Sartor, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin & Ralitza Gueorguieva


    Importance: Multiple nicotine product use (MNPU) among youths is a significant public health concern. Much remains unknown about the patterns of MNPU in youths, including how socioecological factors influence trajectories of MNPU, which may inform targeted prevention.

    Objective: To identify longitudinal trajectories of MNPU and characterize them according to socioecological factors associated with tobacco use.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: This US-based longitudinal survey study used data from waves 1 (September 12, 2013, to December 14, 2014) through 4 (December 1, 2016, to January 3, 2018) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study. Participants included 10 086 youths (aged 12-17 years) at wave 1, with follow-up data at waves 2 to 4 (assessed approximately 1 year apart) in the youth or adult data sets. Data were analyzed from January 15, 2020, to December 22, 2021.

    Exposures: Socioecological factors at wave 1.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcome variables were days of use in the past 30 days of 4 products: cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. Factors associated with use of the nicotine products that were collected at wave 1 included sociodemographic factors, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, living with a tobacco user, rules about tobacco use at home, conversations with parents about not using tobacco, tobacco accessibility, and exposure to advertising. Multitrajectory latent class growth analysis was used to identify distinct subgroups with similar patterns of use over time. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to investigate factors associated with class membership. Weights were applied to all data except frequencies to account for the complex survey design.

    Results: Of the 10 086 youths included in the analysis, 5142 (51.2%) self-identified as male; 4792 (54.7%) were non-Hispanic White; and 5315 (50.6%) were aged 12 to 14 years. Six latent trajectory classes were identified: nonuse (8056 [78.2%]), experimentation (908 [9.8%]), increasing e-cigarette/cigarette use (359 [4.0%]), increasing cigarette/cigar use (320 [3.3%]), decreasing cigarette/e-cigarette/cigar use (302 [3.2%]), and stable smokeless tobacco/cigarette use (141 [1.6%]). Compared with the nonuse class, being older (odds ratio [OR] range, 2.54 [95% CI, 1.94-3.32] to 9.49 [95% CI, 6.03-14.93]), being female (OR range, 0.06 [95% CI, 0.03-0.14] to 0.71 [95% CI, 0.53-0.94]), living with a tobacco user (OR range, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.11-1.83] to 4.94 [95% CI, 3.43-7.13]), and having relaxed rules about noncombustible tobacco product use at home (OR range, 1.41 [95% CI, 1.02-1.94] to 3.42 [95% CI, 1.74-6.75]) were associated with classification in all the use classes. A high degree of difficulty accessing tobacco was associated with lower odds of membership in the increasing cigarette/cigar use vs nonuse classes (OR, 0.62 [95% CI, 0.40-0.98]).

    Conclusions and Relevance: These survey results highlight the heterogeneity of longitudinal pathways of MNPU in US youths and suggest directions for future prevention and regulatory efforts directed at tobacco use behaviors in this population.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Effects of Buprenorphine Dose and Therapeutic Engagement on Illicit Opiate Use in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Trials

    Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 2022, doi: 10.3390/ijerph19074106

    Author: Andrew W. Bergen, James W. Baurley, Carolyn M. Ervin, Christopher S. McMahan, Joe Bible, Randall S. Stafford, Seshadri C. Mudumbai & Andrew J. Saxon


    The impact of agonist dose and of physician, staff and patient engagement on treatment have not been evaluated together in an analysis of treatment for opioid use disorder. Our hypotheses were that greater agonist dose and therapeutic engagement would be associated with reduced illicit opiate use in a time-dependent manner. Publicly-available treatment data from six buprenorphine efficacy and safety trials from the Federally-supported Clinical Trials Network were used to derive treatment variables. Three novel predictors were constructed to capture the time weighted effects of buprenorphine dosage (mg buprenorphine per day), dosing protocol (whether physician could adjust dose), and clinic visits (whether patient attended clinic). We used time-in-trial as a predictor to account for the therapeutic benefits of treatment persistence. The outcome was illicit opiate use defined by self-report or urinalysis. Trial participants (N = 3022 patients with opioid dependence, mean age 36 years, 33% female, 14% Black, 16% Hispanic) were analyzed using a generalized linear mixed model. Treatment variables dose, Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.63 (95% Confidence Interval (95%CI) 0.59–0.67), dosing protocol, OR = 0.70 (95%CI 0.65–0.76), time-in-trial, OR = 0.75 (95%CI 0.71–0.80) and clinic visits, OR = 0.81 (95%CI 0.76–0.87) were significant (p-values < 0.001) protective factors. Treatment implications support higher doses of buprenorphine and greater engagement of patients with providers and clinic staff.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.


    April 2022