Alcohol and substance dependence in the United Arab Emirates: A scoping review protocol

Ansie Fouché, Abdulaziz Albrithen, Mariam Alnuaimi, Khoula Al Riyami, Vinnarasan Aruldoss, Krista Cooper, Raquel Marta, Prospera Tedam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Despite cultural, religious and legal constraints, alcohol and drug abuse is rising in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Therefore, we aim to produce a scoping review to summarise available scientific literature on alcohol and substance dependence (ASD) in all ethnic and religious groups in the UAE to inform future scientific inquiries. Methods and analysis Social work faculty from the UAE University will conduct the scoping review between March 2023 and February 2024. Drawing on the participants, concept, context (PCC) framework, the following review question was developed: What can be learnt from a review of scientific literature on alcohol and substance abuse in all ethnic and religious groups in the UAE? The scientific literature on ASD in the UAE published between 1971 and January 2023, in either English or Arabic, will be considered, including all ethnic, religious and age groups. Grey literature, such as postgraduate dissertations and conference proceedings, will also be considered. Eight English and two Arabic databases and print copies of literature sources in university libraries will be included. EndNote and Covidence software will be used for deduplication, screening and data extraction. Screening and reviewing search results will involve two English-speaking and two Arabic-speaking team members who will work independently. A third reviewer will resolve conflicts. The inter-rater reliability data from the title and abstract screening stage will be exported, and Cohen's kappa coefficient will be calculated. Data charting informed by the Covidence data extraction tool 2.0 will occur after pilot testing, followed by qualitative content analysis. Reporting of the findings will align with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews tool. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required for this study because this is a scoping review of published studies and grey literature. Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed journal publications, scientific conferences and a policy brief.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere071208
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 9 2023


  • Substance misuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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