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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development of an Australian version of the alcohol-related problems survey: A comprehensive computerised screening tool for older adults

  • Author(s): Bright, SJ
  • Fink, A
  • Beck, JC
  • Gabriel, J
  • Singh, D
  • et al.

© 2013 ACOTA. Aim: The Alcohol-Related Problems Survey (ARPS) reliably classifies drinking as non-hazardous, hazardous or harmful using scoring algorithms that consider quantity and frequency of alcohol use alone and in combination with health conditions, medication-use and functional status. Because it has been developed using a 14-g US standard drink, it is not valid in Australia where a standard drink contains 10g of ethanol. Method: We recalibrated the ARPS scoring algorithms for a 10-g Australian standard drink and updated the list of medications. The Australian ARPS (A-ARPS) was then administered to 50 non-treatment-seeking participants in waves of five. Results: The A-ARPS recalibrated scoring algorithms reliably classified all 50 individuals. Sixty-six percent were classified as hazardous or harmful drinkers. Many were taking medications that interact with alcohol or had medical conditions that can be exacerbated by alcohol consumption. Conclusion: The A-ARPS is available for use in Australia. Its utilisation could reduce the incidence of alcohol-related harms.

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