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Occup Med (Lond). 2009 Aug;59(5):323-6. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqp060. Epub 2009 May 21.

Alcohol consumption among veterinary surgeons in the UK.

Author information

1
Mental Health Group, Division of Clinical Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, RSH Hospital, Brintons Terrace, Southampton SO14 0YG, UK. djbartram@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol consumption can have both medical and occupational implications and may affect fitness to practise among veterinary surgeons (vets).

AIMS:

To investigate alcohol consumption and the prevalence and associations of 'at-risk' drinking among vets in the UK.

METHODS:

Alcohol consumption was measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test alcohol consumption questions (AUDIT-C) embedded in a questionnaire which included measures of mental health and psychosocial working conditions, administered to a representative sample of 1796 vets. Scores of >or=4 for women and >or=5 for men were used as an indicator of 'at-risk' drinking.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 56%. Five per cent of respondents were non-drinkers, 32% low-risk drinkers and 63% at-risk drinkers. The estimated odds of at-risk drinking was not significantly different for men and women. A 1-year increase in age was associated with a 2% reduction in the odds of at-risk drinking (OR 0.98, 95% CI: 0.97-0.99, P < 0.01). There was no significant difference across hours worked or on call in a typical week. Lower psychological demands at work were associated with reduced odds of at-risk drinking (OR 0.75, 95% CI: 0.63-0.90, P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

It is estimated that vets drink more frequently than the general population, but consume less on a typical drinking day and have a prevalence of daily and weekly binge drinking that is similar to the general population. The level of alcohol consumption does not appear to be a negative influence on mental health within the profession as a whole.

PMID:
19460875
DOI:
10.1093/occmed/kqp060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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