4727.0.55.002 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2012-13
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2013 First Issue
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Information was collected for persons aged 15 years and over in the NATSIHS.
Intake of alcohol - Assessing long term/lifetime risk of alcohol consumption
Respondents were asked how long ago they last had an alcoholic drink. Those who reported they had a drink within the previous two weeks, were then asked about the day they consumed the most alcohol followed by the last three drinking days in the previous week (excluding the day on which the interview was conducted). For each of the drinking days on which respondents stated having drunk, the types and quantities (number and size) of drinks they had consumed were recorded. They were also asked whether their consumption in that week was more, about the same, or less than their usual consumption. Information was collected separately for the following categories of alcoholic drinks:
If interviewers were unsure in which category a reported drink belonged, details were recorded in 'other alcoholic drinks' for checking/reclassifying as appropriate during later processing.
Respondents were asked to report the number of drinks of each alcohol type they had consumed, the size of the drinks, and where possible the brand name(s) of the drink(s) consumed on each of the most recent three days in the last week on which they had consumed alcohol. Interviewers were able to record this information by selecting from a list in a trigram coder or by recording the details for later coding during processing.
The collection of accurate data on quantity of alcohol consumed is difficult, particularly where recall is concerned, given the nature and possible circumstances of consumption. Interviewers were provided with extensive documentation and training to assist with recording of amounts consumed. Where possible, information was collected in terms of standard containers or measures; i.e. 10 oz glass, stubby, nip, etc. Where the size of the drink did not readily fit into the list provided to interviewers, they were asked to record as much information as necessary to clearly indicate the quantity.
Reported quantities of drinks consumed were converted to millilitres (mls) of alcohol present in those drinks, and then summed to the drink type, day, and week level as required. The methodology to convert drinks to mls of alcohol consumed is as follows:
Alcohol content of the drink consumed (%) x number of drinks (of that type) consumed x vessel size (in mls)
This conversion was performed electronically, supported by clerical coding for cases which could not be coded automatically. From this, an average daily alcohol consumption item was derived. Two indicators of alcohol risk level were created from the average daily alcohol consumption item:
According to the average daily intake over the 7 days of the reference week, respondents' long term/lifetime risk levels were determined according to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) alcohol consumption risk guidelines (see section below).
Where precise brand type of drink information was not recorded, default alcohol content values based on drink type were applied. These values are shown below:
It is recognised that particular types or brands of beverage within each of these categories may contain more or less alcohol than indicated by the conversion factor; for example, full-strength beers are usually in the range 4% to 6% alcohol by volume. The factors are considered to be sufficiently representative of each category as a whole for the purposes of indicating relative health risk as appropriate to the aims of this survey. However, it should be noted that these categories, defined by the conversion factors used, may not reflect exact legal definitions.
In addition to the information about alcohol consumed in the previous week, respondents were asked how often they had an alcoholic drink in the last 12 months:
Frequency of consuming 'at risk' amounts of alcohol - Assessing short term/single occasion risk of alcohol consumption
Respondents were asked the number of times they had the following number of standard drinks in a day in the last 12 months:
In addition to this, respondents were asked whether their consumption of alcohol had increased, decreased, or stayed about the same since the same time last year.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines for consumption of alcohol
The 2012-13 NATSIHS reported alcohol risk based on both the 2001 and 2009 NHMRC alcohol consumption guidelines.
2001 NHMRC guidelines
The 2001 NHMRC guidelines for reducing long-term and short term health risks associated with alcohol consumption are as follows:
2009 NHMRC guidelines
The 2009 NHMRC guidelines for reducing lifetime and single occasion health risks associated with alcohol consumption on any day are as follows:
2009 NHMRC GUIDELINES(a)
For more information see NHMRC alcohol guidelines.
The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in the Data Item List in the Downloads page of this product.
Points to be considered in interpreting data on alcohol consumption from this survey include:
Comparability with 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)
The method of measuring alcohol percentage has been revised between the 2004-05 and 2012-13 NATSIHS. In the 2004-05 survey the percentage of alcohol allocated to wine, beer and champagne differed to those in the 2012-13 survey, and in some cases it was identified by the respondent in 2004-05. In addition, alcohol consumption was collected from persons 18 years and over in 2004-05, rather than any person 15 years and over as in the 2012-13 survey. The 2004-05 NATSIHS did not collect details of alcohol consumption for the day a respondent drank the most alcohol in the last two weeks. Despite these methodological differences the derived data items on lifetime and single occasion health risks are considered comparable.
Consideration should also be given to the social factors and general changes in health awareness which have occurred in the period between surveys which may have influenced the levels of reporting. Also, a new alcohol tax was introduced prior to the commencement of data collection for the 2012-13 NATSIHS. The introduction of this tax may have resulted in the alcohol in some drinks being reduced by some manufacturers. This reduction in alcohol changed the number of standard drinks in the container of that brand product.
Comparability with 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS)
Alcohol consumption was collected primarily for 3 most recent drinking days in the last week in the 2012-13 NATSIHS, whereas the 2008 NATSISS collected data on a usual drinking day. However, both surveys collected data on the day drunk the most in the last two weeks and specific items are available in the 2012-13 NATSIHS for comparisons with the 2008 NATSISS. However, differences in the approach taken to collect the specific details of alcohol consumed should be considered when comparing the data.
Comparability with 2011-12 National Health Survey (NHS)
Alcohol consumption questions in the 2012-13 NATSIHS are conceptually the same, and therefore are considered comparable to the 2011-12 NHS. Note that NHS did not specifically collect or identify data about the day drunk the most in the last two weeks.