School health services to reduce use — evidence summary

Summary of the evidence

Rating:
Likely to be beneficial

School health services were found in a systematic review with meta-analysis (Montgomery et al., 2021) to be effective (moderate quality evidence) in:

  • reducing drinking alcohol (60.1% vs. 70.5%, p < .001),
  • reducing using drugs (28.0% vs. 38.3%, p < .001)

School health services were also found to be associated with reductions in suicide planning (male: 7.1% vs. 7.7%, p < .01), hospitalization (relative risks 3.403, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.536 to 8.473, p < .05), emergency department visits (odds ratio .85, 95% CI .75 to .95, p ¼ .006), school absence (odds ratio .78, 95% CI .69 to .87, p < .0001), carrying weapons (male: 16.1% vs. 25.1%, p < .01), fighting (male: 32.6% vs. 43.1%, p < .01), sexual activity (53.5% vs. 60.5%, p < .05) and physical activity (female: 57.4% vs. 50.4%, p < .01).

Details

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

Name of response option:
School-based interventions
Desired outcome(s):
reduce substance use
Area(s)
Prevention
Specific substance or pattern of use:
alcohol
not-drug specific
Target group(s) or setting(s):
young people
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