BACKGROUND: In a municipality in Sweden there was a concern about the high alcohol consumption among its residents. An alcohol education program was provided to all those employed by the municipality.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether a day-long alcohol education program provided to all employed by a Swedish municipality had an effect on alcohol consumption among employees and specifically among employees with low and higher levels of consumption respectively.
METHODS: A quasi-experimental evaluation using pre-test 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 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 education, some results on behaviour were found when performing stratified analyses. The employees with the highest alcohol consumption, although not labelled high consumers, reduced the frequency of binge drinking. It is difficult to speculate whether these results can be generalized to other working populations. The results have to be compared with more direct methods of reaching risk consumers, such as screening and brief interventions. Knowledge about alcohol and the associated risks of alcohol consumption might facilitate the willingness to seek help sooner.
2016. Vol. 53, no 2, 421-428 p.
Prevention; binge drinking; evaluation; intervention; risk consumption workplaces; substance abuse