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Under-reporting of alcohol consumption in household surveys: a comparison of quantity-frequency, graduated-frequency and recent recall.
Addiction. 2004 Aug; 99(8):1024-33.A

Abstract

AIM

To compare alternative survey methods for estimating (a) levels of at risk alcohol consumption and (b) total volume of alcohol consumed per capita in comparison with estimates from sales data and to investigate reasons for under-reporting.

SETTING

The homes of respondents who were eligible and willing to participate.

PARTICIPANTS

A total of 21,674 Australians aged 14 years and older.

DESIGN

A 2001 national household survey of drug use, experiences and attitudes with weights applied for age, sex, geographic location and day of week of interview.

MEASURES

Self-completion questionnaire using quantity-frequency (QF) and graduated-frequency (GF) methods plus two questions about consumption 'yesterday': one in standard drinks, another with empirically based estimates of drink size and strength.

RESULTS

The highest estimate of age 14 + per capita consumption of 7.00 l of alcohol derived from recall of consumption 'yesterday' or 76.8% of the official estimate. The lowest was QF with 49.8%. When amount consumed 'yesterday' was recalled in standard drinks this estimate was 5.27 l. GF questions yielded higher estimates than did QF questions both for total volume (5.25 versus 4.54 l) and also for the proportion of the population at risk of long-term alcohol-related harm (10.6%versus 8.1%). With the detailed 'yesterday' method 61% of all consumption was on high risk drinking days.

CONCLUSIONS

Questions about typical quantities of alcohol consumed can lead to underestimates, as do questions about drinking 'standard drinks' of alcohol. Recent recall methods encourage fuller reporting of volumes plus more accurate estimates of unrecorded consumption and the proportion of total alcohol consumption that places drinkers at risk of harm. However, they do not capture longer-term drinking patterns. It is recommended that both recent recall and measures of longer-term drinking patterns are included in national surveys.

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Drug Research Institute, Perth, Australia. t.stockwell@curtin.edu.auNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15265099

Citation

Stockwell, Tim, et al. "Under-reporting of Alcohol Consumption in Household Surveys: a Comparison of Quantity-frequency, Graduated-frequency and Recent Recall." Addiction (Abingdon, England), vol. 99, no. 8, 2004, pp. 1024-33.
Stockwell T, Donath S, Cooper-Stanbury M, et al. Under-reporting of alcohol consumption in household surveys: a comparison of quantity-frequency, graduated-frequency and recent recall. Addiction. 2004;99(8):1024-33.
Stockwell, T., Donath, S., Cooper-Stanbury, M., Chikritzhs, T., Catalano, P., & Mateo, C. (2004). Under-reporting of alcohol consumption in household surveys: a comparison of quantity-frequency, graduated-frequency and recent recall. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 99(8), 1024-33.
Stockwell T, et al. Under-reporting of Alcohol Consumption in Household Surveys: a Comparison of Quantity-frequency, Graduated-frequency and Recent Recall. Addiction. 2004;99(8):1024-33. PubMed PMID: 15265099.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Under-reporting of alcohol consumption in household surveys: a comparison of quantity-frequency, graduated-frequency and recent recall. AU - Stockwell,Tim, AU - Donath,Susan, AU - Cooper-Stanbury,Mark, AU - Chikritzhs,Tanya, AU - Catalano,Paul, AU - Mateo,Cid, PY - 2004/7/22/pubmed PY - 2004/11/13/medline PY - 2004/7/22/entrez SP - 1024 EP - 33 JF - Addiction (Abingdon, England) JO - Addiction VL - 99 IS - 8 N2 - AIM: To compare alternative survey methods for estimating (a) levels of at risk alcohol consumption and (b) total volume of alcohol consumed per capita in comparison with estimates from sales data and to investigate reasons for under-reporting. SETTING: The homes of respondents who were eligible and willing to participate. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 21,674 Australians aged 14 years and older. DESIGN: A 2001 national household survey of drug use, experiences and attitudes with weights applied for age, sex, geographic location and day of week of interview. MEASURES: Self-completion questionnaire using quantity-frequency (QF) and graduated-frequency (GF) methods plus two questions about consumption 'yesterday': one in standard drinks, another with empirically based estimates of drink size and strength. RESULTS: The highest estimate of age 14 + per capita consumption of 7.00 l of alcohol derived from recall of consumption 'yesterday' or 76.8% of the official estimate. The lowest was QF with 49.8%. When amount consumed 'yesterday' was recalled in standard drinks this estimate was 5.27 l. GF questions yielded higher estimates than did QF questions both for total volume (5.25 versus 4.54 l) and also for the proportion of the population at risk of long-term alcohol-related harm (10.6%versus 8.1%). With the detailed 'yesterday' method 61% of all consumption was on high risk drinking days. CONCLUSIONS: Questions about typical quantities of alcohol consumed can lead to underestimates, as do questions about drinking 'standard drinks' of alcohol. Recent recall methods encourage fuller reporting of volumes plus more accurate estimates of unrecorded consumption and the proportion of total alcohol consumption that places drinkers at risk of harm. However, they do not capture longer-term drinking patterns. It is recommended that both recent recall and measures of longer-term drinking patterns are included in national surveys. SN - 0965-2140 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15265099/Under_reporting_of_alcohol_consumption_in_household_surveys:_a_comparison_of_quantity_frequency_graduated_frequency_and_recent_recall_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -