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Patterns of drinking in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as self-reported on the Grog Survey App: a stratified sample

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posted on 2021-06-02, 01:06 authored by Kylie LeeKylie Lee, James H Conigrave, Scott Wilson, Jimmy Perry, Noel Hayman, Catherine Zheng, Mustafa Al Ansari, Michael Doyle, Robin RoomRobin Room, Sarah CallinanSarah Callinan, Tanya Chikritzhs, Tim Slade, Katherine M Conigrave
BACKGROUND: The Grog Survey App is a visual and interactive tablet computer-based survey application. It has been shown to be an accurate and acceptable tool to help Indigenous Australians describe what they drink. METHODS: The Grog Survey App was used to enquire into patterns of drinking in a stratified sample of Indigenous Australians in urban and remote/regional sites during testing of the App. The App asked about the last four drinking occasions in the past 12 months, including preferred alcohol types and containers; and symptoms of alcohol dependence, based on ICD-11 descriptions. Drinking patterns are presented here using medians and interquartile ranges, and the thresholds set out by the Australian National and Health and Medical Research Council guidelines. Patterns of consumption are compared by gender and remoteness, using Wilcoxon rank-sum test to compare medians. Logistic regressions tested whether alcohol types and drinking containers varied by remoteness. RESULTS: In this stratified sample most people either consumed nothing (21.7%), or consumed quantities which placed them at short- (95.6%) or long-term risk (47.8%) of harms. Drinkers in remote areas were more likely to drink beer, but less likely to drink pre-mixed spirits. 'Stubbies' and other beer glasses were popular in urban areas, compared with 'slabs' (cases of beer) in remote/regional areas. The use of improvised containers (i.e. empty juice bottles) did not vary by remoteness. Nearly one in six (15%) current drinkers reported experiencing at least two symptoms of alcohol dependence at least monthly. Average drinks per day was the consumption measure most highly correlated with each dependence symptom (r = 0.34-0.38). CONCLUSIONS: The App was able to capture a wide range of preferred alcohol types and containers, and demonstrate a diversity in how alcohol is consumed. This detail was captured in a relative brief survey delivered using an interactive and appealing tablet computer-based application.


This work was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC; Project Grant ID#1087192, a Centre of Research Excellence ID#1117198 and a Practitioner Fellowship for K. Conigrave ID#1117582).


Publication Date



BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making





Article Number





Springer Nature



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