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Non-response bias and hazardous alcohol use in relation to previous alcohol-related hospitalization: comparing survey responses with population data
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Karolinska Institute .
2013 (English)In: Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, ISSN 1747-597X, Vol. 8, 10- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: This study examines whether alcohol-related hospitalization predicts survey non-response, and evaluates whether this missing data result in biased estimates of the prevalence of hazardous alcohol use and abstinence. Methods: Registry data on alcohol-related hospitalizations during the preceding ten years were linked to two representative surveys. Population data corresponding to the surveys were derived from the Stockholm County registry. The alcohol-related hospitalization rates for survey responders were compared with the population data, and corresponding rates for non-responders were based on the differences between the two estimates. The proportions with hazardous alcohol use and abstinence were calculated separately for previously hospitalized and non-hospitalized responders, and non-responders were assumed to be similar to responders in this respect. Results: Persons with previous alcohol-related admissions were more likely currently to abstain from alcohol (RR=1.58, p<.001) or to have hazardous alcohol use (RR=2.06, p<.001). Alternatively, they were more than twice as likely to have become non-responders. Adjusting for this skewed non-response, i. e., the underrepresentation of hazardous users and abstainers among the hospitalized, made little difference to the estimated rates of hazardous use and abstinence in total. During the ten-year period 1.7% of the population were hospitalized. Conclusions: Few people receive alcohol-related hospital care and it remains unclear whether this group's underrepresentation in surveys is generalizable to other groups, such as hazardous users. While people with severe alcohol problems - i.e. a history of alcohol-related hospitalizations -are less likely to respond to population surveys, this particular bias is not likely to alter prevalence estimates of hazardous use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 8, 10- p.
Keyword [en]
Non-response bias, Missing data, Attrition, Hazardous alcohol use, Abstainers, Abstinence
National Category
Substance Abuse
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89723DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-8-10ISI: 000317065400001OAI: diva2:620208


Available from: 2013-05-08 Created: 2013-05-06 Last updated: 2013-05-08Bibliographically approved

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