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J Spinal Cord Med. 2018 Mar;41(2):230-237. doi: 10.1080/10790268.2017.1319996. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Changes in alcohol use after the onset of spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
a College of Medicine , Medical University of South Carolina , Charleston , South Carolina , USA.
2
b Department of Health Sciences and Research, College of Health Professions , Medical University of South Carolina , Charleston , South Carolina , USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Identify the prevalence of alcohol consumption and binge drinking at time of spinal cord injury (SCI) onset, compare these rates to data from the general population, and identify changes in alcohol use at an average of 17 months post-injury.

DESIGN:

Cross sectional, mailed self-report assessment.

SETTING:

A specialty hospital in the southeastern United States.

PARTICIPANTS:

Five hundred sixty-six inpatients completed the baseline measure. After eliminating those under age 18, there were 524 participants at baseline. 410 were approached for follow-up, with 201 of those responding.

INTERVENTIONS:

N/A.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Self-reported assessments were completed during inpatient rehabilitation and at follow-up approximately 17 months later. The two primary outcomes were the number of days consuming 5 or more drinks (binge drinking) and the number of days consuming any alcoholic beverages within the 30 days prior to the assessment. Comparison data were taken from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

RESULTS:

At SCI onset, the prevalence of alcohol use, particularly binge drinking, was substantially higher than the general population (SCI = 44.9%; general population = 13%). Drinking rates decreased by 17 months post-injury.

CONCLUSION:

Alcohol use and binge drinking are elevated over the general population at the time of injury. Drinking patterns reflect a decrease following injury but remain slightly elevated, signifying a need for interventions to minimize long-term health consequences.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; Mortality; Rehabilitation; Spinal cord injury

PMID:
28446059
PMCID:
PMC5901460
[Available on 2019-03-01]
DOI:
10.1080/10790268.2017.1319996

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