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AIDS Behav. 2010 Aug;14 Suppl 1:S84-93. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9734-8.

Validating alcohol use measures among male drinkers in Goa: implications for research on alcohol, sexual risk, and HIV in India.

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Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 6475 Christie Ave, Suite 400, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.


Assessment of heavy drinking patterns is vital for HIV/AIDs studies in India and developing countries. A population survey in northern Goa included urban and rural male drinkers (n = 743) who completed a new Fractional Graduated Frequencies (F-GF) alcohol patterns measure assessing seven beverage types and drink sizes for the largest daily amount, then drinking frequencies at fractional amounts. The new measure was compared to a simpler quantity-frequency (QF) summary and, in a validity subsample of hazardous drinkers (n = 56), 28-day diaries of drinking events. Approximately 56% of total volume came from peak drinking (averaging 60 g ethanol/day). For AUDIT-based Hazardous Drinkers, QF and F-GF volumes (drinks/day) were not significantly different from diary volume (correlations 0.65 and 0.57, respectively). F-GF well captured the profile of daily amounts in drinking event data. In addition, the F-GF showed evidence of better predicting any sexual risk behavior or partner violence perpetration than the QF measure. Summary drinking pattern measures, especially the new F-GF, are more cost efficient than intensive event records, and appear valid when carefully assessing quantities with local beverage types and drink ethanol content.

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