Risky Single-Occasion Drinking and Disadvantaged Men: Will Recruitment Through Primary Care Miss Hazardous Drinkers?
Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 37, Issue 9, pages 1577–1581, September 2013
How to Cite
Crombie, I. K., Falconer, D. W., Irvine, L., Norrie, J., Williams, B. and Slane, P. W. (2013), Risky Single-Occasion Drinking and Disadvantaged Men: Will Recruitment Through Primary Care Miss Hazardous Drinkers?. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 37: 1577–1581. doi: 10.1111/acer.12123
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 3 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 SEP 2012
- UK National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research programme. Grant Number: 09/3001/09
- Binge Drinking;
- Risky Single-Occasion Drinking
Men who are socially disadvantaged are at a substantially higher risk of developing alcohol-related diseases. People from deprived areas are known to be more difficult to recruit to research studies. As part of a feasibility assessment for an intervention study, 2 recruitment strategies were investigated. This article compares the drinking patterns of the disadvantaged men identified by the 2 strategies.
A cross-sectional survey compared 2 strategies for recruiting disadvantaged men to a study on alcohol consumption: recruitment through general practice (GP) registers and through a community outreach strategy, respondent-driven sampling (RDS). Men aged 25 to 44 years were recruited from deprived areas in the community. The entry criterion was binge drinking (≥8 units in a single session) at least twice in the previous 4 weeks. Demographic characteristics, total consumption of alcohol, frequency of binge drinking (≥8 units in a session), and heavy binge drinking (≥16 units in a session) were measured.
Men recruited by RDS drank more than twice as much as the men recruited through GP (137 units in the previous 30 days compared with 62 units; p = 0.003). They also had many more binge drinking days: more than half (57%) of men from RDS had 6 or more binge drinking days in the previous 30 days, whereas only 16% of the GP sample had 6 or more binge drinking days (p = 0.001). Many more men recruited by RDS (37% vs. 5%; p = 0.002) had more than 5 very heavy drinking sessions in the previous month (≥16 units in a session). The RDS group also had fewer alcohol-free days.
The 2 sampling strategies recruited different types of drinkers. The men recruited through RDS were much more likely to engage in frequent harmful drinking. The results indicate that the 2 methods recruit different samples of disadvantaged men. Intervention studies that are only conducted through primary care may miss many harmful drinkers.