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Alcohol Use and Abuse in a Population of Community Dwelling, Frail Older Adults
Journal of Gerontological Social Work
  • Charles A. Emlet, University of Washington Tacoma
  • Helena Hawks
  • Jane Callahana
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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.
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Citation Information
Charles A. Emlet, Helena Hawks and Jane Callahana. "Alcohol Use and Abuse in a Population of Community Dwelling, Frail Older Adults" Journal of Gerontological Social Work Vol. 35 Iss. 4 (2002) p. 21 - 33
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