The title of Olubusayo's dissertation project was 'Effectiveness of limiting the time of alcohol sales as a means of preventing alcohol-related violence or crime'.
Introduction: Alcohol-related violence is a major global public health challenge, ranging from mere nuisance inconveniences to debilitating injuries and even death in people other than the drinker. Apart from the physical and emotional harm suffered by victims of alcohol-related violence, there is also pressure on the health and criminal justice services resulting in huge financial cost to the society. Previous reviews have reported that limiting the time of alcohol sales is an effective means of reducing alcohol-related harms, however, no review has been conducted to assess the effectiveness of this intervention specifically on alcohol related-violence or crime.
Objective: To systematically review existing literature on the effectiveness of limiting the time of alcohol sales as a means of preventing alcohol-related violence or crime.
Search strategy: Six electronic databases (Medline, PsycINFO, ETOH, EMBASE, Sociological abstracts and Econlit) were searched using pre-specified search terms. Reference and citation lists of relevant articles were also searched.
Selection criteria: Quasi-experimental studies (before and after, interrupted time series designs) evaluating the effect of change (increase or decrease or both) in time of alcohol sales in relation to violence or crime were included in this review.
Data collection and analysis: Forms adapted from “Data Collection Instrument and Procedure for Systematic Reviews in the Guide to Community Preventive Services” were used for data extraction and quality assessment of included studies. Narrative synthesis was employed to explore the findings of this review.
Results: Fifteen studies were included in this review and were divided into three groups: Findings from increased time of alcohol sales; Findings from decreased time of alcohol sales and Findings from increased and decreased time of alcohol sales. Findings from ten studies where the time of alcohol sales was increased were inconsistent. Four studies where the time of alcohol sales was decreased showed a corresponding decrease in violence, this was corroborated by the finding from the study that assessed the effect of both increased and decreased time of alcohol sales.
Conclusion: This review suggests that limiting the time of alcohol sales is an effective means of preventing alcohol-related violence or crime. More rigorous studies are needed to provide stronger evidence.