The efficacy of computerized interventions to reduce cannabis use: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Alexandre Olmos, Judit Tirado-Muñoz, Magí Farré, Marta Torrens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Background and aims Cannabis is the most widely consumed illicit drug. Although it is too early to confirm the impact of legalization, the use of cannabis appears to be on the rise in some countries due to its authorization for medical/recreational purposes. Among different types of therapeutic approaches to reduce cannabis use, computerized interventions are becoming a new treatment option. To assess their efficacy, a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed employing randomized controlled clinical trials indexed in MEDLINE and PsycINFO. The principal outcome measure was cannabis use, and the secondary one was the use of other substances during interventions. A subgroup analysis was conducted by length of follow-up, number of sessions, age group, type of analysis, and type of control condition. Results The meta-analysis included nine studies with 2963 participants. Computerized interventions resulted in significant reductions in the use of cannabis (standardized mean difference [SMD]: − 0.19; 95% CI: − 0.26, − 0.11) and other substances (SMD: − 0.27; 95% CI: − 0.46, − 0.08). Conclusions Computerized interventions examined in the present study reduced the frequency of cannabis and other substance use. Limitations included the recalculation of dichotomous and continuous data as SMD and the lower number of studies included in the secondary outcome. Computerized interventions could be a viable option to reduce cannabis use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Cannabis
  • Computerized interventions
  • Meta-analysis
  • Randomized controlled clinical trial
  • Systematic review
  • Treatment


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