Behavioural activation (BA) interventions to reduce substance use and depressive symptoms — evidence summary

Summary of the evidence

Unknown effectiveness

Behavioural Activation (BA) interventions were found in a systematic review without meta-analysis (Matrínez-Vispo et al 2018, studies = 8, 6 of which RCTs) to potentially improve:

  • substance use (2 out of 6 RCTs reported statistically significant results in favour of BA)
  • depressive symptoms (6 out of 8 studies reported statistically significant results in favour of BA)


Note: this evidence summary is only valid for the outcomes, target groups, settings and substances/patterns of use described below.

Name of response option:
Behavioural Activation (BA) interventions
Desired outcome(s):
improve mental health outcomes
reduce substance use
Specific substance or pattern of use:
Target group(s) or setting(s):
dual-diagnosis patients

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