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Addict Behav. 2005 Mar;30(3):403-13.

Measuring alcohol consumption: a comparison of graduated frequency, quantity frequency, and weekly recall diary methods in a general population survey.

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Research Department, Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems (SIPA), Avenue de Ruchonnet 12, P.O. Box 870, CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland.



The objective of this study is to compare self-reports of alcohol consumption obtained by graduated frequency (GF), quantity frequency (QF), and prospective weekly diary methods in a Swiss general population survey using a within-subject design. Another objective is to examine the consumption means, ranking order, and drinking classifications and to relate differences in consumption means and classification inconsistencies to social and drinking characteristics.


The data came from the first wave of a longitudinal study on changes in alcohol consumption. A subsample of 767 respondents who completed the three measures was examined. The sample design was accounted for.


Weekly drinking diary (WDD) yielded over 50% more alcohol consumption than the QF and GF measures did. Measures on quantity and graduated frequencies did not differ significantly. There were more light drinkers found on QF and more harmful drinkers on the WDD. Classification inconsistencies between GF and the weekly drinking diary were significantly related to gender and problematic drinking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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