Personal experiences of drinking and alcohol-related risk perceptions: The importance of the subjective dimension
Aims - To explore the association between subjective experiences of drinking and alcohol-related risk perceptions. Methods - The data is based on a questionnaire with questions about beliefs, use habits and experiences of alcohol and tobacco sent to a random sample of 3,000 Swedes aged 18 to 70 years (response rate= 1,623 individuals, or 54%). In this study, those respondents who had ever been drinking alcohol were included (1,536 individuals). The data were analysed statistically by cross tabs and multiple logistic regression. Results - With some exceptions, the results generally showed that differences in subjective experiences of drinking were related to risk perceptions of alcohol consumption. In particular, those who had more negative than positive subjective experiences of alcohol consumption had substantially higher risk perceptions than those who had more positive than negative experiences, controlling for alcohol consumption and potential confounders. There were also several significant differences between individuals differently involved in alcohol consumption, net of subjective experiences. Conclusions - Subjective experiences of alcohol consumption appear to be an important construct in relation to alcohol-related risk perceptions. To understand the link between personal experiences and risk perceptions pertaining to alcohol consumption, both objective measures of personal experiences and subjective measures should be considered.
Implementing guidelines for substance abuse treatment: a critical discussion of "Knowledge to Practice"
AIMS - We critically discuss the campaign "Knowledge to Practice". A popular assumption within the evidence-based practice (EBP) framework is that guidelines for best practices are useful for increasing the inflow of research into practice. In Sweden, an initiative known as "Knowledge to Practice" (KTP) has since 2008 been devoted to implementing the National Board of Health and Welfare's guidelines for substance abuse treatment in practice. MATERIAL - Our critical discussion is based on an analysis of available documents describing the KTP campaign. RESULTS - We argue that the implementation process is marred with problems all the way from the beginning, where the guidelines are produced, to the final stage of local "adoption". The vague character of the guidelines coupled with unclear usages of key concepts such as "service user involvement" and EBP as well as a perspective of EBP that in certain respects undermine the legitimacy of its own mission lead us to raise serious doubt about KTP. CONCLUSSIONS - We conclude that KTP can be seen as a clear example of a general unawareness of the two main, largely incompatible "models" of EBP identified in the literature. Further, KTP may as a consequence of this have had the unintended effect of disseminating vague and unclear conceptions of EBP to practitioners.
AIMS – Providing risk information on licit substances is a central health promotion strategy. There is, however, very little knowledge about public attitudes on this information. In this exploratory study we analyse the extent to which Swedish adults: 1) trust risk information regarding alcohol, cigarettes and wet snuff (“snus”) provided by public authorities, 2) perceive risk information regarding alcohol, cigarettes and snus as consistent, and 3) have received an adequate amount of risk information from public authorities regarding these substances. The aim is also to investigate if certain characteristics among participants are related to their perceptions of such risk information.
METHODS – A questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of individuals aged 18 to 70 (n=1623, 54% response rate). Descriptive statistics and logistic regression techniques were used to process data.
RESULTS – Participants trusted risk information concerning cigarettes, snus and alcohol provided by public authorities, and reported that they had received an adequate amount of it. Information about cigarettes was seen as more trustworthy and consistent than information about alcohol and snus. The study suggests that attitudes on risk information are substance-specific and associated in complex ways with gender, age, education and experience of own substance use.
CONCLUSION – While only a first attempt to map an under-investigated area, our study highlights complexities in how people perceive risk information about licit substances. It also indicates that the general population in Sweden receives what is seen as an adequate amount of knowledge from public authorities, and finds it consistent and trustworthy.