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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

A systematic review: effectiveness of mass media campaigns for reducing alcohol-impaired driving and alcohol-related crashes

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Rajendra-Prasad Yadav, Miwako Kobayashi
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

First, RY conceptualized the systematic review and developed the search criteria. Then, both reviewers RY and MK independently examined titles, abstracts and key works of citations from many electronic databases for eligibility. Finally, they drafted the manuscript together. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Mass media campaigns have long been used as a tool for promoting public health. In the past decade, the growth of social media has allowed more diverse options for mass media campaigns. This systematic review was conducted to assess newer evidence from quantitative studies on the effectiveness of mass media campaigns for reducing alcohol-impaired driving (AID) and alcohol-related crashes, particularly after the paper that Elder et al. published in 2004.


This review focused on English language studies that evaluated the effect of mass media campaigns for reducing AID and alcohol-related crashes, with or without enforcement efforts. A systematic search was conducted for studies published between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2013. Studies from the review by Elder et al. were added as well.


A total of 19 studies met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review, including three studies from the review by Elder et al. Nine of them had concomitant enforcement measures and did not evaluate the impact of media campaigns independently. Studies that evaluated the impact of mass media independently showed reduction more consistently (median −15.1 %, range −28.8 to 0 %), whereas results of studies that had concomitant enforcement activities were more variable (median −8.6 %, range −36.4 to +14.6 %). Summary effects calculated from seven studies showed no evidence of media campaigns reducing the risk of alcohol-related injuries or fatalities (RR 1.00, 95 % CI = 0.94 to 1.06).


Despite additional decade of evidence, reviewed studies were heterogeneous in their approaches; therefore, we could not conclude that media campaigns reduced the risk of alcohol-related injuries or crashes. More studies are needed, including studies evaluating newly emerging media and cost-effectiveness of media campaigns.
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