BACKGROUND: Excessive alcohol use during pregnancy has been associated with adverse maternal and neonatal effects. It is therefore important to develop and evaluate effective interventions during this important time in a woman's life. To our knowledge there have been no systematic reviews of randomised control trials (RCT) in this population. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in pregnant women enrolled in alcohol treatment programs for improving birth and neonatal outcomes, maternal abstinence and treatment retention. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group's Trial register (December 2007); MEDLINE (1950 to 2007); PsycINFO (1806 to 2007); EMBASE (1974 to 2007); CINAHL (1982 to 2007) SELECTION CRITERIA: We sought to include randomised or quasi-randomised studies comparing any psychosocial intervention versus pharmacological interventions or placebo or non-intervention or another psychosocial intervention for treating alcohol dependence in pregnancy. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Three review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion in review. Studies were to be assessed using standardized data extraction and quality assessment forms. No suitable trials were identified. MAIN RESULTS: The search strategy identified 958 citations. 17 citations were deemed relevant for full text review, an additional 9 articles were retrieved through hand searching references, for a total of 26 articles. Following full text review no articles met the inclusion criteria. Data extraction and assessment of methodological quality were therefore not possible. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The review question remains unanswered as there were no randomised control trials found relevant to the topic. There is a need for high quality randomised controlled trials to determine the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in pregnant women enrolled in alcohol treatment programs.
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