Home > Conceptualising alcohol consumption in relation to long-term health conditions: exploring risk in interviewee accounts of drinking and taking medications.

Madden, Mary and Morris, Stephanie and Stewart, Duncan and Atkin, Karl and Gough, Brendan and McCambridge, Jim [PLOS One] . (2019) Conceptualising alcohol consumption in relation to long-term health conditions: exploring risk in interviewee accounts of drinking and taking medications. PLoS ONE, 14 (11) https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224706

URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.13...

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use is a major contributor to the burden of disease, including long-term non-communicable diseases. Alcohol can also interact with and counter the effects of medications. This study addresses how people with long term conditions, who take multiple medications, experience and understand their alcohol use. The study objective is to explore how people conceptualise the risks posed to their own health from their concurrent alcohol and medicines use.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 24 people in the North of England taking medication for long term conditions who drank alcohol twice a week or more often. Transcripts were analysed using a modified framework method with a constructionist thematic analysis. Alcohol was consumed recreationally and to aid with symptoms of sleeplessness, stress and pain. Interviewees were concerned about the felt effects of concurrent alcohol and medicines use and sought ways to minimise the negative effects. Interviewees associated their own drinking with short-term reward, pleasure and relief. Risky drinking was located elsewhere, in the drinking of others. People made experiential, embodied sense of health harms and did not seem aware of, or convinced by, (or in some cases appeared resigned to) future harms to their own health from alcohol use. The study has limitations common to exploratory qualitative studies.

CONCLUSIONS: Health risk communication should be better informed about how people with long-term health conditions perceive health outcomes over time, and how they adopt experience-based safety strategies in contexts in which alcohol consumption is heavily promoted and weakly regulated, whilst medicines adherence is expected. Supporting people to make active and informed connections between medicines, alcohol and potential personal health harms requires more than a one-way style of risk communication if it is to be perceived as opening up rather than restricting choice.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:PLOS One
Date:November 2019
Page Range:e0224706
Volume:14
Number:11
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Over the counter drug (medicine / medication)
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Prescription drug (medicine / medication)
G Health and disease > State of health
G Health and disease > Public health
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom

Repository Staff Only: item control page