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Motivation to reduce alcohol consumption and subsequent attempts at reduction and changes in consumption in increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England: a prospective population survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-827
Number of pages11
Issue number5
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - 25 Jan 2018


Aims: To assess how far motivation to reduce alcohol consumption in increasing and higher-risk drinkers predicts self-reported attempts to reduce alcohol consumption and changes in alcohol intake in the following 6 months.
Methods: This study used self-reported data from 2,928 higher-risk drinkers in the Alcohol Toolkit Study (ATS): a series of monthly cross-sectional household surveys of adults aged 16+ years of age in England. Alcohol consumption was measured in an initial survey and in a 6-month telephone followup
interview using the AUDIT-C questionnaire. Motivation was measured in the initial survey using the Motivation to Reduce Alcohol Consumption (MRAC) scale. Attempts to reduce alcohol consumption in the past 6 months were recorded at follow-up. Data were analysed using repeated measures difference-in-differences and logistic regression models.
Results: Participants with higher initial motivation to reduce alcohol consumption were more likely to report they had made an attempt to reduce consumption at follow-up (ORadj=2.39, 95%CI [1.75-3.29]).
There was an overall reduction in alcohol consumption between initial survey and follow-up (ORadj=0.72 [0.65-0.79]), but there was insufficient evidence of an additional effect of motivation to reduce consumption on subsequent changes in alcohol consumption, with the difference-in-differences
effect instead suggesting average increase (ORadj =1.37 [0.99-1.88]).
Conclusions: Increasing and higher-risk drinkers in England who report greater motivation to reduce their consumption are more likely to report making an attempt to reduce in the next 6 months but this may not be associated with a reduction in alcohol consumption.

    Research areas

  • Alcohol, Alcohol Toolkit Study, ATS, Audit, Behaviour, Consumption, Motivation

    Structured keywords


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