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Development of an Australian version of the Alcohol-Related Problems Survey: a comprehensive computerised screening tool for older adults.

  • Author(s): Bright, Stephen J;
  • Fink, Arlene;
  • Beck, John C;
  • Gabriel, Jim;
  • Singh, Dhiren
  • et al.
Abstract

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 10 g 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 per cent 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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