Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3545
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Assessment of alcohol problems using AUDIT in a prison setting: more than an 'aye or no' question
Authors: MacAskill, Susan
Parkes, Tessa
Brooks, Oona
Graham, Lesley
McAuley, Andrew
Brown, Abraham
Contact Email: t.s.parkes@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: alcohol
offending
AUDIT Screening
Issue Date: 14-Nov-2011
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: MacAskill S, Parkes T, Brooks O, Graham L, McAuley A & Brown A (2011) Assessment of alcohol problems using AUDIT in a prison setting: more than an 'aye or no' question, BMC Public Health, 11 (Article 865), pp. 1-12.
Abstract: Background Alcohol problems are a major UK and international public health issue. The prevalence of alcohol problems is markedly higher among prisoners than the general population. However, studies suggest alcohol problems among prisoners are under-detected, under-recorded and under-treated. Identifying offenders with alcohol problems is fundamental to providing high quality healthcare. This paper reports use of the AUDIT screening tool to assess alcohol problems among prisoners. Methods Universal screening was undertaken over ten weeks with all entrants to one male Scottish prison using the AUDIT standardised screening tool and supplementary contextual questions. The questionnaire was administered by trained prison officers during routine admission procedures. Overall 259 anonymised completed questionnaires were analysed. Results AUDIT scores showed a high prevalence of alcohol problems with 73% of prisoner scores indicating an alcohol use disorder (8+), including 36% having scores indicating 'possible dependence' (20-40). AUDIT scores indicating 'possible dependence' were most apparent among 18-24 and 40-64 year-olds (40% and 56% respectively). However, individual questions showed important differences, with younger drinkers less likely to demonstrate habitual and addictive behaviours than the older age group. Disparity between high levels of harmful/hazardous/dependent drinking and low levels of 'treatment' emerged (only 27% of prisoners with scores indicating 'possible dependence' reported being 'in treatment'). Self-reported associations between drinking alcohol and the index crime were identified among two-fifths of respondents, rising to half of those reporting violent crimes. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify differing behaviours and needs among prisoners with high AUDIT score ranges, through additional analysis of individual questions. The study has identified high prevalence of alcohol use, varied problem behaviours, and links across drinking, crime and recidivism, supporting the argument for more extensive provision of alcohol-focused interventions in prisons. These should be carefully targeted based on initial screening and assessment, responsive, and include care pathways linking prisoners to community services. Finally, findings confirm the value and feasibility of routine use of the AUDIT screening tool in prison settings, to considerably enhance practice in the detection and understanding of alcohol problems, improving on current more limited questioning (e.g. 'yes or no' questions).
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3545
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-11-865
Rights: © 2011 MacAskill et al. ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: Institute for Social Marketing
HS Health - Stirling
Institute for Social Marketing
NHS National Services Scotland
NHS Health Scotland
Institute for Social Marketing

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
1471-2458-11-865.pdf280.2 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


This item is protected by original copyright



Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact library@stir.ac.uk providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.