The drinking habits of users of an alcohol screening web site in Slovenia
AbstractBackground: Heavy drinking is responsible for major health and social problems. Slovenia has few epidemiological studies about drinking, none of them have used the AUDIT questionnaire. Pilot studies have indicated that a Webbased screening is likely to be acceptable to young heavy drinkers. Methods: Cross sectional study. Visitors of a free website, older then 10 years, were offered screening with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). Their demographic data and information about their drinking habits were collected. All users who completed the questionnaire received a specially prepared feed-back message with an evaluation of their drinking. Data from the database for the first four months were collected for analysis on February 1, 2009. Results: In four months 3329 users filled in the questionnaire, 69.2 % completed it and 1790 participans completed it for themselves. Their mean age was 28.9 years, 62.7 % were between 19 and 34 years. 41 % were single, 49.4 % had finnished the secondary school. 0.1 % of men did not drink alcohol at all, 57.7 % drank hazardous or harmful amounts of alcohol. 50.6 % of women did not have risky drinking habits. Mean baseline AUDIT scores were 8.8 ± 1.3, 9.79 ± 2.1 for men and 7.68 ± 4.7 for women. Conclusions: The alcohol screening website was widely used, especially by young people. The percentage of hazardous male drinkers accessing the site was high. The website seems to be an accessible and useful tool for young people and it could contribute to health promotion and constitute an easier alternative to screening for hazardous and harmful drinking.
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