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Protocol for a systematic review of psychological treatment for methamphetamine use: an analysis of methamphetamine use and mental health symptom outcomes
  1. Alexandra Stuart1,
  2. Amanda L Baker2,
  3. Jenny Bowman1,
  4. Kristen McCarter2,
  5. Alexandra Mary Janice Denham2,
  6. Nicole Lee3,
  7. Kim Colyvas4,
  8. Adrian Dunlop2
  1. 1 School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Bentley, Australia
  4. 4 School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Alexandra Stuart; alexandra.m.stuart{at}


Introduction People who use methamphetamine (MA) regularly, often experience symptoms of mental ill health associated with the use of the drug. These include symptoms of psychosis, depression, anxiety and also cognitive deficits. Accordingly, psychological treatments aim to reduce MA use and related problems, including symptoms of mental ill health. Although there has been a substantial body of research reporting on the evidence of effectiveness of psychological treatments for MA use, there is a paucity of research addressing the effectiveness of these treatments for coexisting symptoms of mental ill health. We aim to address this gap by providing a comprehensive overview of the evidence for psychological treatments for MA use and associated symptoms of mental ill health in experimental/controlled clinical studies. In addition, a critical evaluation of study methods and the outcomes of psychological interventions on MA use and symptoms of mental ill health will be conducted.

Methods and analysis The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis statement will be used to inform the methods of this review. Eight electronic peer-reviewed databases will be searched. Pilot searches have been conducted for MA literature considering controlled clinical trials only. Eligible articles will be independently assessed against inclusion criteria. Before final analyses are completed, searches will be rerun and if eligible, additional studies will be retrieved for inclusion. A quantitative synthesis of the findings will be reported where possible, and ‘summary of findings’ tables will be generated for each comparison. Risk ratios and 95% CI (dichotomous outcomes) will be calculated and/or effect size according to Cohen’s formula (continuous outcomes) for the primary outcome of each trial.

Ethics and dissemination No ethical issues are foreseen. Findings will be disseminated widely to clinicians and researchers via journal publication and conference presentation(s).

Trial registration number CRD42016043657.

  • mental health
  • substance misuse
  • quality in health care

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  • Contributors AS is the guarantor of the review. AS, ALB, AD, AMJD, KM and JB assisted in writing the protocol. AS performed the preliminary searches, will perform data extraction, conduct quality assessments and draft the systematic review paper. AMJD will screen references and cross-check data extraction and perform independent quality ratings. AS developed the search strategy with the assistance of a research librarian. KC provided statistical expertise. ALB provided expertise on psychological treatment for MA use. AD provided expertise on pharmacotherapy. JB provided expertise on the process of systematic reviews. All other authors contributed to the conception and design of this systematic review and will assist AS and AMJD to resolve any discrepancies in relation to data extraction, study inclusion and quality ratings. AS, ALB, AD, AMJD, JB, KM and NL read, provided feedback and approved the protocol manuscript and will offer critical revisions for the review manuscript.

  • Funding The School of Psychology and the School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia supported this work. No specific grant from any funding agency in the commercial, public or not-for-profit sectors was received for this research.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not applicable.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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