Experience of care

TopicExperience of care
Review question(s)4.2.2 For people who misuse alcohol, what are their experiences of having problems with alcohol, of access to services and of treatment?

For families and carers of people who misuse alcohol, what are their experiences of caring for people with an alcohol problem and what support is available for families and carers?
Chapter4. Experience of care
Subsection4.2 Review of the qualitative literature
Topic groupExperience of care:
Jan Fry
Laura Shields
Esther Flanagan
Clare Taylor
Subsection leadJan Fry
ObjectivesTo explore the experience of care for people with alcohol problems and their families and carers in terms of broad topics of receiving a diagnosis, accessing services and having treatment
Criteria for considering studies for the review
 • Interventionn/a
 • Comparatorn/a
 • Types of participantsAdults (>18 years) or young people (10 to 17 years of age) with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence or meeting criteria for harmful alcohol use. Studies were excluded if studies were quantitative, questionnaire- or survey-based, or if participants were not harmful or dependent drinkers, or if the qualitative studies were primarily aimed at service user experience of substance misuse (and therefore not alcohol-focused)
 • Critical outcomesNone specified – any narrative description service user experience with alcohol problems
 • Important but not critical outcomesn/a
 • Other outcomesn/a
 • Study designQualitative studies, focus groups, systematic reviews and narratives of qualitative studies
 • Include unpublished data?Yes (one published qualitative study also had unpublished qualitative interviews, which we received with permission from a GDG member)
 • Restriction by date?n/a
 • Dosagen/a
 • Minimum sample sizen/a
 • Study settingInpatient, outpatient
Search strategyDatabases: CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO
Searching other resources

Reference searching – reference list of all retrieved articles and any previous reviews were sifted for additional trials which met inclusion criteria


Personal contact – No authors were contacted or asked for their knowledge of other studies


No drug companies were contacted for requests for additional data


One GDG member, Marsha Morgan, provided additional qualitative data from a published study authored by one of her former students whom she had supervised. Another GDG member, Alex Copello, provided suggestions for qualitative studies

Existing reviews
 • Updatedn/a
 • Not updatedn/a
General search filter used
Question-specific search filter
Amendments to filter/search strategy
The review strategyNarrative synthesis of qualitative studies, wherein themes were extracted across qualitative studies and written as a review
Additional assessmentsSensitivity analyses were not applicable

From: Appendix 8, Review protocols

Cover of Alcohol-Use Disorders
Alcohol-Use Disorders: Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of Harmful Drinking and Alcohol Dependence.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 115.
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK).
Leicester (UK): British Psychological Society; 2011.
Copyright © 2011, The British Psychological Society & The Royal College of Psychiatrists.

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