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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 259-263

Alcohol, harmful use and dependence: Assessment using the WHO Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test tool in a South Indian fishermen community


1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Palanivel Chinnakali
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_82_15

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Background: Fishermen have a high burden of alcohol-related morbidity. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) is used to classify individual to have harmful use of alcohol and probable alcohol dependence. Hence, this study was conducted among fishermen in a selected fishermen community in Puducherry, South India, to (a) assess the proportion of harmful alcohol use and probable dependence to alcohol among alcohol users using AUDIT tool and (b) find the sociodemographic factors associated with harmful alcohol use and probable dependence among alcohol users. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out among the fishermen above 18 years of age in a selected “fishing hamlet.” A house-to-house survey was conducted to identify the fishermen. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain sociodemographic details. AUDIT tool was administered by interviewer to those fishermen who used alcohol in the past 1 year. Data were entered and analyzed using EpiData software. The proportion of harmful use of alcohol and probable dependence among alcohol users was expressed as percentage. Chi-square test was used to find association between sociodemographic factors with harmful use of alcohol and probable dependence. Results: Of 304 fishermen included in the study, 241 (79%) reported alcohol use in the past 1 year. Of 241 alcohol users, four-fifths (82%) had some formal education and two-thirds (67%) had monthly income <3000 INR. “Harmful use” of alcohol was noted in 76.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 71.1%–81.7%) and probable alcohol dependence in 12.4% (95% CI: 8.9%–17.2%). None of the individual characteristics of alcohol users were associated with either harmful use of alcohol or probable dependence. Conclusion: Among fishermen who use alcohol, eight out of ten have harmful use of alcohol. There is a need to screen for alcohol-related disorders among fisherman and adopt brief intervention strategies to counter problems of harmful use of alcohol.


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