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Christoffer Tigerstedt

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Christoffer Tigerstedt and Kerstin Stenius

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Nina Karlsson and Christoffer Tigerstedt

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Christoffer Tigerstedt and Pekka Hakkarainen

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Katariina Warpenius and Christoffer Tigerstedt

Abstract

AIMS & DESIGN - This overview analyses the recent emergence of the concept of alcohol’s harm to others (AHTO) and the potential policy implications embedded in this research perspective. The overview is an account of ways in which recent alcohol research has grasped the kind of harm that goes beyond the drinker. It positions the dimensions of alcohol’s harm to others as a research perspective in relation to other established research approaches to alcohol-related problems. FINDINGS - Several concepts presented within different disciplines have focused on how adverse consequences of drinking go beyond the individual drinker. However, the scientific discussion is still characterised by an obvious conceptual instability. Alongside the growing research interest in alcohol’s harm to others there is a political discourse stressing the urgency of alcohol policy measures protecting innocent victims against damage from others’ alcohol use. CONCLUSIONS - In drawing attention to the interactional nature of alcohol-related harm, the AHTO perspective brings a novel syntagmatic and cross-cutting aspect to established traditions in alcohol research and forms a unique scientific approach. The AHTO perspective has the potential for creating a political will to move the alcohol policy agenda forward, but the question of a suitable and credible term is unresolved. Conceptually, the AHTO perspective is still in a state of flux, while politically it is loaded with considerable ambitions and interests related to causal attributions and ethical conclusions embedded in the research perspective.

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Riitta Koivula, Christoffer Tigerstedt, Anni Vilkko, Kristiina Kuussaari and Satu Pajala

Abstract

AIMS - In this article the authors ask how the alcohol use of elderly home care clients affects the daily work of home care professionals and how the professionals act to support the drinking client. METHODS - Semi-structured interviews with 10 home care professionals were conducted from December 2014 to February 2015 in the Helsinki metropolitan area of Finland. Everyday situations during home visits related to the clients’ alcohol use were analysed according to modalities of agency of the home care professionals. RESULTS - The results focus on three themes raised in the interviews: supporting life management of the client, the lack of qualifications in tackling clients’ drinking and the need for multi-professional collaboration. Intoxicated clients complicated the home care nurses’ work and obstructed the implementation of recommendations set out to guide the professionals’ operations. Care work with alcohol-using clients was particularly demanding, and the professionals were concerned about not having enough training in how to encounter elderly clients’ drinking. Multi-professional collaboration with substance abuse services and emergency department personnel was called for to remedy this problem. CONCLUSIONS - More extensive and detailed research is needed for a better picture of how clients’ drinking influences home care nurses’ working conditions and what kind of skills nurses need in different alcohol-related situations. Such research would have the potential to benefit clients and improve the well-being of the employees.