Gender differences in the impact of population-level alcohol policy interventions: evidence synthesis of systematic reviews

Niamh Fitzgerald, Kathryn Angus, Carol Emslie, Deborah Shipton, Linda Bauld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Consistent review-level evidence supports the effectiveness of population-level alcohol policies in reducing alcohol-related harms. Such policies interact with well-established social, cultural and biological differences in how men and women perceive, relate to and use alcohol, and with wider inequalities, in ways which may give rise to gender differences in policy effectiveness.  Aims: To examine the extent to which gender-specific data and analyses were considered in, and are available from, systematic reviews of population-level alcohol policy interventions, and where possible, to conduct a narrative synthesis of relevant data.  Methods: A prior systematic ‘review of reviews’ of population level alcohol interventions 2002-2012 was updated to May 2014, all gender-relevant data extracted, and the level and quality of gender reporting assessed. A narrative synthesis of extracted findings was conducted.  Results: Sixty-three systematic reviews, covering ten policy areas, were included. Five reviews (8%) consistently provided information on baseline participation by gender for each individual study in the review and twenty-nine (46%) reported some gender-specific information on the impact of the policies under consideration. Specific findings include evidence of possible gender differences in the impact of and exposure to alcohol marketing, and a failure to consider potential unintended consequences and harm to others in most reviews.  Conclusions: Gender is poorly reported in systematic reviews of population-level interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm, hindering assessment of the intended and unintended effects of such policies on women and men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1735-1747
Number of pages13
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in the impact of population-level alcohol policy interventions: evidence synthesis of systematic reviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this