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Drinking pattern is more strongly associated with under-reporting of alcohol consumption than sociodemographic 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 sociodemographic 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 sociodemographic factors: evidence from a mixed methods study
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
Additional information: © 2014 Boniface et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 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: Alcohol drinking, Health surveys, Public health, Mixed methods
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
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/1459774
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