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 pharmacologic 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 (August 2008) ; MEDLINE (1.1950 to 6.2008) ; EMBASE (1.1974 - 8.2008); CINAHL (1.1982-6.2008); PsycInfo (1.1806-6.2008), and reference lists of articles.
Selection criteria: We sought to include randomised or quasi-randomised studies comparing any pharmacologic intervention versus other pharmacologic treatment alone or in association with psychosocial treatment, placebo, non-intervention or psychosocial intervention.
Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion in the review. Included studies were to be assessed using standardized data extraction and quality assessment forms. No suitable trials were identified.
Main results: The search strategy identified 793 citations. Twenty-three citations were deemed relevant for full text review; an additional ten articles were retrieved through hand searching references, for a total of thirty-three 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 research to determine the effectiveness of pharmacologic interventions in pregnant women enrolled in alcohol treatment program.