Identifying preventative approaches to substance use in Indigenous communities is the foundation for developing evidence-based responses. This study reports the findings of a systematic review of the published literature evaluating the impact of substance use programs on Australian Indigenous youth.Methods:
Evidence about the impact of substance use programs for Indigenous young people was identified from a systematic review of the literature conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.Results:
Only four original studies that met the inclusion criteria were identified, although a further 19 papers that described characteristics of programs that may be associated with improved outcomes were reviewed.Conclusions:
Evidence relevant to the outcomes of demand control programs that target Australian Indigenous youth substance use is both weak and inconsistent. There is a need to support the type of evaluation activity required to better understand program effectiveness and build the Indigenous knowledge base.Implications for public health:
These findings are discussed in relation to the development of evidence-based practice and the type of knowledge that is likely to be of most use to those seeking to address problems associated with youth substance use.