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Harmful Alcohol Use Among Aboriginal People in Southern Taiwan: The Prevalence, Correlates, and Adverse Drinking Effects

Wang, Mei-Hua RN, MSN; Lee, Chien-Hung PhD; Lai, Chien-Yu RN, PhD; Chueh, Ke-Hsin RN, PhD; Yen, Cheng-Fang MD, PhD; Yang, Mei-Sang RN, PhD

doi: 10.1097/JAN.0000000000000021
Original Papers

This cross-sectional study aims to examine the prevalence and correlates of harmful alcohol use among aboriginal people in southern Taiwan and to examine the associations between harmful alcohol use and adverse drinking effects. Four hundred forty-nine aboriginal adults were recruited from two townships in southern Taiwan to complete the questionnaires. Among the aborigines, 59.7% scored an 8 or above on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, including 26.7% who were found to be hazardous drinkers (AUDIT level II), 18.5% who were harmful drinkers (level III), and 14.5% who were with likely dependence (level IV). Male aborigines who participated less in religious activities, had stressful life events, were cigarette smokers, or were betel quid chewers were more likely to have harmful alcohol use. Harmful alcohol use was also associated with an inability to work and with arguments with other people. Our study suggests that aboriginal people in southern Taiwan experience alcohol-related risks at rates as high as other worldwide populations for which AUDIT results are available. Individuals with AUDIT scores at levels II and III are generally candidates for brief interventions delivered in generalist health settings. Individuals with AUDIT scores at level IV should be referred for an addiction specialty evaluation and possible treatment as well as lower-risk individuals (those with AUDIT levels II–III) if they have concurrent physical or psychiatric disorders.

Mei-Hua Wang, RN, MSN, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, and Department of Nursing, Meiho University, Taiwan.

Chien-Yu Lai, RN, PhD, and Mei-Sang Yang, RN, PhD, College of Nursing, and Chien-Hung Lee, PhD, Department of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan.

Ke-Hsin Chueh, RN, PhD, Department of Nursing, Fe Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Cheng-Fang Yen, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan.

The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the article.

Correspondence related to content to: Mei-Sang Yang, RN, PhD, College of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, No. 100, Shi-Chuan 1st Rd., San Ming Dist., Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan, ROC. E-mail:

© 2014International Nurses Society on Addictions
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