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The workplace as an arena for universal alcohol prevention– what can we expect? An evaluation of a short educational intervention
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2014 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 47, no 4, 543-551 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The workplace is repeatedly being referred to as an appropriatearena for alcohol prevention and dissemination of information. Whether thepressure on employers to work with prevention is realistic or if these kinds of measures have any potential in real life is however rarely discussed. An alcohol education at a company in Sweden was to be evaluated in terms of effectiveness and this study reports the findings.

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether an alcohol education program provided to all employees at a company in Stockholm,Sweden had any effect on alcohol consumption and alcohol-relatedknowledge. The increasing pressure on employers to work with alcoholprevention and on the concurrent problems of implementing and evaluating these types of interventions in real life is reviewed.

Methods: Pre- and post-test questionnaires were employed in a quasiexperimental design using a sample of convenience from two companies: one intervention and one control. Data was analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA-tests focused on the participants’ AUDIT-scores, frequency of binge drinking and alcohol-related knowledge.

Results: Significant improvement in the employees’ alcohol-related knowledge was shown, but there were no significant effects on alcohol consumption.

Conclusions: Results of this study confirms most previous findings, but also raises the importance of considering the value of educating all employees and the willingness of employers to initiate preventive measures. Evaluating interventions of this kind is complicated, and it is also difficult to find results showing behavioural change in populations whose alcohol consumption is moderate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 47, no 4, 543-551 p.
Keyword [en]
Working life, alcohol prevention, education program, risk knowledge, effectiveness
National Category
Research subject
General Criminology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88161DOI: 10.3233/WOR-131733ISI: 000335015600013OAI: diva2:609938
Available from: 2013-03-08 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2014-06-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mission Impossible? Universal Alcohol Prevention at Workplaces in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mission Impossible? Universal Alcohol Prevention at Workplaces in Sweden
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the mid 1990s, alcohol policy in Sweden has undergone major changes and the restrictive policy instruments have been weakened. Alternative and compensatory preventive measures have been sought and the workplace is repeatedly referred to as an important and appropriate arena for prevention. Universal methods, such as disseminating information and education programs, are seen as crucial in order for individuals to be able to make informed choices about their alcohol consumption.

The overall purpose of this thesis is to analyze the prerequisites for and the possibilities and barriers associated with alcohol education programs at workplaces. The first paper investigates the general interest in alcohol prevention at workplaces where no interventions had been undertaken. The second paper is an effect study which investigates the effects of a short alcohol education program provided to those employed at a company in Stockholm. In the third paper, the effects of a day-long alcohol education program provided to all persons employed by a municipality are studied. The fourth paper is an interview study, in which the aim is to analyze how the participants in alcohol education programs view their participation and the content and legitimacy of the intervention.

The findings suggest that interest in prevention at workplaces is low among employers. In addition, there are difficulties linked to implementation and evaluation, and in achieving and registering any substantial effects. The effect studies noted a significant increase in alcohol-related knowledge and that binge drinking decreased among those who drank the most. The employees found the education programs interesting and valuable but mostly for others, i.e. those who drink too much. Taken together, the studies suggest that it is not reasonable to believe that workplace-based prevention will become a common and effective measure or that it will compensate for the weakened alcohol policy in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University, 2013. 77 p.
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 31Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1650-819X ; 11
alcohol, prevention, alcohol policy, education, intervention, workplaces, evidence-based methods
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
General Criminology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88173 (URN)978-91-7447-633-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-19, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 09:30 (Swedish)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 3: Submitted.

Available from: 2013-03-26 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson Tinghög, Mimmi
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