Trials of Alcohol Use Disorder Treatments Routinely Exclude Sex, Gender, Race, and Ethnicity from Consideration in Outcomes

The manifestation of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and its social, health, and psychological implications depend in part on patient demographics. Yet researchers routinely exclude those demographics from analyses of non-medicinal AUD treatment trials, a review of studies has found. Consequently, little is known about how sex, gender, race, and ethnicity influence the effectiveness of those treatments, or which treatments are indicated — or not — for specific patients and communities. This is despite the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act in 1993 requiring that NIH-funded studies include diversity of sex/gender and race/ethnicity in their participant samples and analysis. Problematic alcohol use, which has high prevalence and low treatment rates, is a leading contributor to preventable death and disease. Non-pharmacological treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), contingency management, twelve-step programs, and more. Inequalitie