Development of an Australian version of the Alcohol-Related Problems Survey: A comprehensive computerised screening tool for older adults

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Abstract

Aim:

The Alcohol-Related Problems Survey (ARPS) reliably classifies drinking as non-hazardous, hazardous or harmful using scoring algorithms that consider quantity and frequency of alcohol use alone and in combination with health conditions, medication-use and functional status. Because it has been developed using a 14-g US standard drink, it is not valid in Australia where a standard drink contains 10 g of ethanol.

Method:

We recalibrated the ARPS scoring algorithms for a 10-g Australian standard drink and updated the list of medications. The Australian ARPS (A-ARPS) was then administered to 50 non-treatment-seeking participants in waves of five.

Results:

The A-ARPS recalibrated scoring algorithms reliably classified all 50 individuals. Sixty-six per cent were classified as hazardous or harmful drinkers. Many were taking medications that interact with alcohol or had medical conditions that can be exacerbated by alcohol consumption.

Conclusion:

The A-ARPS is available for use in Australia. Its utilisation could reduce the incidence of alcohol-related harms.

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