Covariates of alcohol consumption among career firefighters
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BACKGROUND: Little is known about rates of alcohol consumption in career firefighters. AIMS: To assess the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption among career firefighters and the covariates that influence consumption levels. METHODS: A convenience sample of career firefighters completed an online, self-administered, health assessment survey. Hierarchical binary logistic regression assessed the ability of several covariates to predict binge drinking status. RESULTS: The majority of the sample (n = 160) consumed alcohol (89%), with approximately one-third (34%) having a drinking binge in the past 30 days. The regression model explained 13-18% of the variance in binge drinking status and correctly classified 71% of cases. Race (P < 0.05) and time of service (P < 0.01) were the only covariates that made a statistically significant contribution to the model. After controlling for other factors in the model, white respondents were ~4.5 times more likely to binge drink than non-white respondents (95% CI: 1.15-17.4). For each additional year of service, firefighters were 1.08 times less likely to binge drink (95% CI: 0.87-0.97). CONCLUSIONS: Drinking levels observed in this study exceed those of the general adult population, including college students. Thus, it appears that firefighters represent an at-risk drinking group. Further investigations addressing reasons for alcohol use and abuse among firefighters are warranted. This study and subsequent research will provide information necessary for the development and testing of tailored interventions aimed at reducing firefighter alcohol consumption.
author list (cited authors)
Piazza-Gardner, A. K., Barry, A. E., Chaney, E., Dodd, V., Weiler, R., & Delisle, A.