ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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International Alcohol Control Study - collecting policy relevant alcohol data cross country

Sally Casswell

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 1 - Law Building, Room 024
Date: 2012-07-11 03:30 PM – 05:00 PM
Last modified: 2012-04-03


A multi-country collaborative project, the International Alcohol Control (IAC) study, has been designed to assess the impact of alcohol control policy. Longitudinal surveys of drinkers in participating countries and analysis of the policy context allows for assessment of change over time within countries and comparison between countries. The design of the study is modelled on the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Study and measures behaviours which mediate between alcohol policy and consumption in different drinking cultures. A survey instrument and protocol for assessing the alcohol environment has been developed and a first round of data collection completed in New Zealand in 2011. Currently participating countries are Thailand, Korea, Mongolia and New Zealand; England, Scotland and Australia are seeking funding.
The survey instrument (IAC survey) is used to collect data from general population samples of drinkers. It measures key behaviours which mediate between policy and consumption: place and time of purchase, amounts purchased and price paid; ease of access to alcohol purchase; alcohol marketing measures; social supply; perceptions of alcohol affordability and availability; perceptions of enforcement; support for policy and consumption (typical quantity, frequency using beverage and location specific measures) .

The Alcohol Environment Protocol (AEP) assesses relevant aspects of the policy environment including regulation and implementation and is used to collate and analyse data from administrative data sets, research data and key informants.

Survey Data Collection
The survey is computer-assisted and can be used in computer-assisted telephone or face to face interviews. Participating countries with widespread internet access can use a version adapted to their country context located on the IAC website and, for those without, the survey is programmed into hand held devices.

It has proved feasible to design instruments to collect detailed data on behaviours relevant to alcohol policy change in New Zealand and to adapt the survey instrument and AEP for use in different alcohol markets.
This study illustrates the use of data collection frameworks adapted to local circumstances in order to harmonise constructs such as alcohol availability and alcohol marketing and the benefits of the use of computer-assisted interviewing to facilitate comparable data collection.