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Preventing alcohol problems and improving drinking habits among employees: An evaluation of an alcohol education
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
Karolinska Institutet, Institutionen för neurovetenskap . (Sektionen för försäkringsmedicin)
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Aim: To investigate whether a day-long alcohol education provided to all employed by a Swedish municipality had an effect on alcohol consumption among all employees and among employees with lowand higher levels of consumption respectively.

Methods: A quasi-experimental evaluation using pre- and post-test questionnaires was performed. The municipality’s employees were divided in one intervention group (n:124) and one control group (n:139). ANOVA with repeated measures was performed on AUDIT-score and on three separate AUDIT-items; frequency of drinking, frequency of binge drinking and typical amount consumed per drinking occasion.

Results: No significant effect on alcohol consumption was identified for the intervention group as a whole. Stratified analyses showed that the intervention had a significant effect on reducing the frequency of binge drinking among those with the highest consumption.

Conclusions: Compared to many other studies on alcohol educations some results on behaviour were found when performing stratified analyses. The employees with the highest alcohol consumption, although not labelled high consumers, reduced their frequency of binge drinking. It is though difficult to speculate in whether these results can be generalized to other working populations. The results also have to be valued and compared with other more direct methods of reaching risk consumers, such as screening and brief interventions.To know more about alcohol and associated risk might facilitate thewillingness to seek help sooner.

Keyword [en]
Alcohol, prevention, workplaces, intervention, education, evaluation
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
General Criminology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88162OAI: diva2:609951
Available from: 2013-03-08 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-03-12Bibliographically 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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