RETRACTED: The impact of medically supervised injection centres on drug-related harms: A meta-analysis

Tom May, Trevor Bennett, Katy Holloway (2018)

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Drug Policy.
In light of two critical reviews received by the International Journal of Drug Policy after publication (available on request), and additional commissioned independent assessments, the International Journal of Drug Policy has retracted the following paper from publication: May, T., Bennett, T. and Holloway, K. (2018) The impact of medically supervised injection centres on drug-related harms: A meta-analysis, 59: 98-107.
This action is supported by the authors’ acknowledgement of methodological weaknesses linked to the pooling of diverse outcomes into a single composite measure (authors’ response to critical reviews also available on request from the Editor). The authors have acknowledged that these analyses should not have been undertaken in this way and resulted from honest human error in the use of methods. Accordingly, the authors acknowledge that the combined effect size reported in the original paper should be discounted. Given that the composite measure was a key finding reported by the original paper, the decision to retract the paper from publication had been made, including with the consent of the authors. The journal acknowledges that the peer review process did not pick up on the specific methodological weaknesses identified post publication. The International Journal of Drug Policy takes its peer review process extremely seriously. It is for this reason that the International Journal of Drug Policy commissioned an independent assessment of the original paper in addition to the original peer review reports in order to assess whether to retract the paper.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ORIGINAL PAPER:
BACKGROUND: Medically Supervised Injection Centres (MSICs) are legally-sanctioned facilities where users can consume pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. Although there is a substantial body of research exploring their effectiveness, there have been few attempts to quantify outcomes across studies. In order to determine the impact of the body of research as a whole, outcomes from studies were synthesised using meta-analysis.
METHODS: Literature sources were identified through searches in four bibliographic databases. Inclusion in the final review was dependent on the study meeting certain eligibility criteria, including a minimum of pre-test, post-test, control group designs. Data were extracted and pooled in a meta-analysis using both fixed and random effects methods.
RESULTS: Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, MSICs had a significant, but small, positive effect on outcomes based on the fixed effect analysis and no effect based on random effect analysis. The results of the independent outcome analyses showed that MSICs had a significant favourable result in relation to drug-related crime and a significant unfavourable result in relation to problematic heroin use or injection. MSICs were found to have no effect on overdose mortality or syringe/equipment sharing.
CONCLUSION: Whilst the effectiveness of the early versions of MSICs remains uncertain, this should not rule out continuing to test and develop MSICs in locations where public injecting and other drug-related harms are a major problem. It is important, however, that evaluation research publishes replicable data to enable future meta-analyses and to expand the body of knowledge in the field.

RETRACTED: The impact of medically supervised injection centres on drug-related harms: A meta-analysis

RETRACTED: The impact of medically supervised injection centres on drug-related harms: A meta-analysis (483)

Website
English
In partnership with:
ISFF
FUAS
Correlation Network