Alcohol survey measures for Europe: A literature review

This article reports the results of a purposive review of the different alcohol survey instruments currently used in survey research. The review was conducted to support the development of a standardized comparative survey methodology for Europe. It examines various types of instruments used to measure alcohol consumption, risky drinking, alcohol abuse and dependence, social consequences and third-party harm. The review of literature provides several insights for a European comparative survey. The beverage-specific quantity-frequency measure is recommended for use across countries. A reference period of 1 year for alcohol consumption is considered important if one is to link associated problems with alcohol intake. With regard to risky drinking, objective measures based on the quantity of approximately 60-70 g of ethanol per drinking occasion are preferable to subjective measures of drunkenness. In choosing an instrument for measuring abuse and dependence, the key issue is to decide whether the instrument is to serve as a screening or diagnostic tool. In the case of screening, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test or the Rapid Alcohol Problem Screen-4 appears more appropriate. But if one desires to approximate a diagnostic category, then the Composite International Diagnostic Interview or another operationalization of ICD-10/ DSM-IV criteria would be the better choice. Due to a lack of validated scales for social consequences and third-party harm, no recommendations are justified.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Bloomfield K
  • Issue

    Informa Healthcare, pages 1-13
  • Published Date