Title

Alcohol Use and Abuse in a Population of Community Dwelling, Frail Older Adults

Publication Date

4-12-2002

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Research on alcohol use and abuse among frail older adults has been minimal. This population, however, is growing rapidly and will continue to grow in the coming decades. This study examined alcohol use in a sample of 148 frail and functionally impaired elders who were clients of a county Health and Social Services Department. Retrospective chart audits found that 24% of the sample actively used alcohol at the time of the study. Additionally, 4% of the total sample and 17% of those actively using alcohol were defined as problems drinkers based on CAGE scores of two or more affirmative answers. Bivariate analysis revealed gender (being male) as the only significant predictor in alcohol use (p < .05), with men three times more likely to drink than women. Men had significantly higher (p < .05) CAGE scores than their female counterparts. Those who used alcohol had similar amounts of medications prescribed to them as those who were non-drinkers. This study suggests that alcohol use and abuse does exist in frail older persons in similar proportions to older adults who are less frail.

Publication Title

Journal of Gerontological Social Work

Volume

35

Issue

4

First Page

21

Last Page

33

DOI

10.1300/J083v35n04_03

Version

pre-print, post-print

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