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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-18

Systematic review: Rates and determinants of relapse to alcohol: A systematic review of Indian studies

1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Drug De-Addiction and Treatment Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abhishek Ghosh
Department of Psychiatry, Drug De-Addiction and Treatment Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_191_20

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Background and Aims: Relapse is a major clinical concern in alcohol use disorders. The magnitude of the problem, poor access and availability of treatment, and changing social milieu placed India in a challenging position. This was a systematic review of Indian studies on rates and determinants of relapse to alcohol. Methods: Systematic search (January 1980–May 2020) was carried out on PubMed and Google Scholar to select studies that presented either rates or predictors (or both) to alcohol. Relapse was broadly defined based on the characterization in the included articles. We adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses standard for reporting systematic reviews. Results: Thirty-six studies were selected for the qualitative synthesis from the 68 studies. In the pooled sample of 2481 participants, the relapse rate ranged from 3.4% to 90%. The study duration varied from 1 to 36 months. Results suggested that the rates were overall higher in the observational than interventional studies and in studies from states with community prevalence of alcohol use >15% than in those <10%. There was significant heterogeneity among studies. Risk factors of relapse identified were demographic (e.g., younger age), psychological (e.g., craving), situational (e.g., peer influence), stressful life situations (e.g., financial problems), and family history of alcohol use. Conclusion: Relapse is likely in a substantial proportion of participants. Addressing the risk factors might help in delaying relapse. Future studies could concentrate on inclusive study design and robust methodology, to examine and understand the rates and risk factors of relapse.

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