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Drinking pattern is more strongly associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than socio-demographic factors: evidence from a mixed-methods study

Boniface, S; Kneale, J; Shelton, N; (2014) Drinking pattern is more strongly associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than socio-demographic factors: evidence from a mixed-methods study. BMC Public Health , 14 , Article 1297. 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1297. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Under-reporting of alcohol consumption is widespread; surveys typically capture 40-60% of alcohol sales. However the population distribution of under-reporting is not well understood. / Methods: Mixed-methods study to identify factors associated with under-reporting, using the nationally-representative Health Survey for England (HSE) 2011 (overall response rate 66%). Comparison of retrospective computer-assisted personal interview and seven-day drinking diary (n = 3,774 adults 18+, 50% women, diary response rate 69%) to identify factors associated with diary responses exceeding those of the interview using multivariable linear regression for three outcomes: drinking days in the week recorded, volume consumed on heaviest drinking day in the week recorded, and weekly alcohol consumption. Qualitative semi-structured interviews (n = 10) explored reasons for under-reporting in further detail. / Results: Number of drinking days was slightly greater in the diary than the interview (P < 0.001). Reported consumption was higher in the diary than in the interview for heaviest drinking day in the week recorded (0.7 units greater among men, 1.2 units among women, P < 0.001), and weekly alcohol consumption in women only (1.1 units among women, P = 0.003). Participants who drank more frequently, more heavily, and had a more varied drinking pattern with respect to the types of drink consumed or choice of drinking venues had a larger difference between their diary week and their interview week. / The qualitative interviews identified having a non-routine drinking pattern, self-perception as a non-frequent drinker, and usually tracking drinking using experiential approaches as linked to more drinking being reported in the diary than the retrospective interview. / Conclusions: Heavy drinking and non-routine drinking patterns may be associated with greater under-reporting of alcohol consumption. Estimates of drinking above recommended levels are likely to be disproportionately under-estimated.

Type: Article
Title: Drinking pattern is more strongly associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than socio-demographic factors: evidence from a mixed-methods study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1297
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-14-1297
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Boniface et al.; licensee BioMed Central 2014. This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alcohol Drinking, Cross-Sectional Studies, England, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Self Concept, Socioeconomic Factors
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1459746
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