Better methods to collect self-report data on alcohol use behaviours from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

  • Research program: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: January 2015
  • Expected end date: December 2019
  • Completion date: June 2020
  • Funded by: NHMRC
  • Lead organisation: University of Sydney

This study aims to develop, pilot and field test for the first time an approach using a tablet-based computer to collect self-report data on alcohol use behaviours – consumption and other patterns of use, dependence and harms – at a population level in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Specific objectives of the study are to:

• Develop a tablet computer-based survey instrument that can accurately measure alcohol use behaviours among Aboriginal Australians aged 16 or older;

• Pilot this tablet survey and assess its validity compared with a detailed clinical interview, and to assess its test-retest reliability; and

• Assess the practical feasibility of rollout of the developed survey instrument to measure population estimates of alcohol use behaviours among Aboriginal Australians in selected urban and more isolated or remote community sites.

These aims and objectives are consistent with the goals of community leaders, community controlled agencies, researchers and policy makers who have identified a pressing need for validated and standardised approaches to better assess the presence of risky alcohol use and alcohol use disorders. This is important for population surveys so that proper funding and program efforts can be allocated to prevention and treatment services. It is also key to subsequent validation of early detection, screening and treatment in clinical settings. The appropriateness and acceptability of existing validated and accepted assessment or survey tools cannot be assumed in this cross-cultural context.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
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Professor Tanya Chikritzhs
Tel: 61 (0)8 9266 1609
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Chief Investigator

Alcohol policy and strategies


  • Chief Investigator: Edward Wilkes, Curtin University

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals and Targets:

Lee, K., S., Wilson, S., Perry, J., Room, R., Callinan, S., Assan, R., Hayman, N., Chikritzhs, T., N., Gray, D., Wilkes, E., T., Jack, P. and Conigrave, K. (2018). Developing a tablet computer based application ('App') to measure self-reported alcohol consumption in Indigenous Australians. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 18, (8). doi:10.1186/s12911-018-0583-0 [RJ1381] View web page

Brett, J., Lee, K., S., Gray, D., Wilson, S., Freeburn, B., Harrison, K. and Conigrave, K. (2016). Mind the gap: What is the difference between alcohol treatment need and access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians? Drug and Alcohol Review, 35, (4), pp. 456-460. doi:10.1111/dar.12313 [RJ1121] View web page