Descriptors and accounts of alcohol consumption: methodological issues piloted with female undergraduate drinkers in Scotland.

Faculty of Health and Biological Sciences, Queen Margaret University College, Leith, Edinburgh EH12 8TS, UK.
Health Education Research (Impact Factor: 1.66). 03/2007; 22(1):27-36. DOI: 10.1093/her/cyl037
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Excessive drinking among young women continues to attract adverse media attention and is the target of UK government-led initiatives. Reliable research on alcohol consumption is needed to inform/evaluate public health interventions. This pilot study, investigating descriptors of alcohol drinking in female Scottish undergraduate students, comprised: (i) self-completed questionnaire survey (n = 95) and (ii) interview plus test pouring of a 'drink' (n = 19). Self-reports by 70% of drinkers (n = 90) indicated alcohol consumption for the 'week past' meriting classification as 'binge' drinking, and 83% of this group reported drinking in this fashion at least fortnightly. However, binge drinking may be underestimated since poured drinks were measured to be on average double the alcohol content of a standard drink, drinking often occurred outwith licensed premises and respondents preferred to quantify consumption in (fractions of) bottles, rather than glasses. Qualitative analysis showed that interviewees oriented to drinking as an accountable practice but were unaware of the clinical definition of binge drinking. They defined it in terms of the effect of alcohol consumed on individual behaviour, not in absolute quantities. Given the unreliability of self-reported consumption, future health surveys and initiatives should consider 'quantifying' alcohol in a way more meaningful to the population of interest, in terms of effect.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: AIMS: Large discrepancies are typically found between per capita alcohol consumption estimated via survey data compared with sales, excise or production figures. This may lead to significant inaccuracies when calculating levels of alcohol-attributable harms. Using British data, we demonstrate an approach to adjusting survey data to give more accurate estimates of per capita alcohol consumption. METHODS: First, sales and survey data are adjusted to account for potential biases (e.g. self-pouring, under-sampled populations) using evidence from external data sources. Secondly, survey and sales data are aligned using different implementations of Rehm et al.'s method [in (2010) Statistical modeling of volume of alcohol exposure for epidemiological studies of population health: the US example. Pop Health Metrics 8, 1-12]. Thirdly, the impact of our approaches is tested by using our revised survey dataset to calculate alcohol-attributable fractions (AAFs) for oral and pharyngeal cancers. RESULTS: British sales data under-estimate per capita consumption by 8%, primarily due to illicit alcohol. Adjustments to survey data increase per capita consumption estimates by 35%, primarily due to under-sampling of dependent drinkers and under-estimation of home-poured spirits volumes. Before aligning sales and survey data, the revised survey estimate remains 22% lower than the revised sales estimate. Revised AAFs for oral and pharyngeal cancers are substantially larger with our preferred method for aligning data sources, yielding increases in an AAF from the original survey dataset of 0.47-0.60 (males) and 0.28-0.35 (females). CONCLUSION: It is possible to use external data sources to adjust survey data to reduce the under-estimation of alcohol consumption and then account for residual under-estimation using a statistical calibration technique. These revisions lead to markedly higher estimated levels of alcohol-attributable harm.
    Alcohol and Alcoholism 01/2013; · 1.96 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the associations between depressive symptoms and four indicators of alcohol consumption (high frequency of drinking, frequency of heavy episodic drinking, problem drinking, and possible alcohol dependence). We also explored whether personal importance of religious faith as well as healthy lifestyle had any modifying roles in these relationships. During 2007-2008, 3,220 students at seven UK universities completed a questionnaire containing questions on CAGE, frequency alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking, modified Beck-Depression Inventory, physical activity and sleep, and importance of religious faith. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed separately for four alcohol consumption indicators, stratified by gender. Controlling for demographic variables, depressive symptoms were positively associated with problem drinking and possible alcohol dependence for both genders. Religiosity was negatively associated with frequency of drinking and heavy episodic drinking among both genders, while healthy lifestyle was not associated with any of the four measures of alcohol consumption among both genders. No evidence suggested that either religiosity or healthy lifestyle modified the relationships between depressive symptoms and any of the four measures of alcohol consumption. This study shows a link between hazardous drinking and mental ill health and suggests religiosity as a protective factor for high alcohol consumption. Promotion of students' mental and spiritual health could have a preventive role in hazardous drinking at universities.
    Substance Use &amp Misuse 09/2013; · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This research work sets out the objective of developing and estimating a comprehensive street binge drinking model to represent the Spanish youth alcohol adoption process called "botellón". This multivariable model points out the importance of values, moreover it measures how influence values over attitudes, beliefs and emotions. The obtained results point out not only the antecedent role played by values but also the causal effect played by attitudes and contact reference group on beliefs, plus emotions on street binge drinking consumption behaviours. In addition, it is analysed how gender is an important moderating variable in this model. Finally, some practical implications are drawn regarding responsibility and hedonism values, moreover some beliefs about normality, health and social disapproval.
    International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing 11/2012; 9(2):181-197.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 21, 2014