AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Supplement 1, pp 84–93 | Cite as

Validating Alcohol Use Measures Among Male Drinkers in Goa: Implications for Research on Alcohol, Sexual Risk, and HIV in India

  • Thomas K. GreenfieldEmail author
  • Madhabika B. Nayak
  • Jason Bond
  • Vikram Patel
  • Karen Trocki
  • Aravind Pillai
Original Paper


Assessment of heavy drinking patterns is vital for HIV/AIDs studies in India and developing countries. A population survey in northern Goa included urban and rural male drinkers (n = 743) who completed a new Fractional Graduated Frequencies (F-GF) alcohol patterns measure assessing seven beverage types and drink sizes for the largest daily amount, then drinking frequencies at fractional amounts. The new measure was compared to a simpler quantity-frequency (QF) summary and, in a validity subsample of hazardous drinkers (n = 56), 28-day diaries of drinking events. Approximately 56% of total volume came from peak drinking (averaging 60 g ethanol/day). For AUDIT-based Hazardous Drinkers, QF and F-GF volumes (drinks/day) were not significantly different from diary volume (correlations 0.65 and 0.57, respectively). F-GF well captured the profile of daily amounts in drinking event data. In addition, the F-GF showed evidence of better predicting any sexual risk behavior or partner violence perpetration than the QF measure. Summary drinking pattern measures, especially the new F-GF, are more cost efficient than intensive event records, and appear valid when carefully assessing quantities with local beverage types and drink ethanol content.


Alcohol use patterns Measurement Validity Goa Survey HIV/AIDS Risk factors 



Results presented here come from a collaborative project between the Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, California, USA and Sangath Center, Alto Porvorim, Goa, India, funded by grant R21 AA014773 and by Center Grant P30 AA005595 from the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Views expressed are those of the authors not the supporting institutions. A draft of this paper was presented at the First International Conference on HIV and Alcohol in India, Mumbai, August 3–4, 2009. We thank anonymous reviewers for valuable comments which helped improve the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas K. Greenfield
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Madhabika B. Nayak
    • 1
  • Jason Bond
    • 1
  • Vikram Patel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Karen Trocki
    • 1
  • Aravind Pillai
    • 3
  1. 1.Alcohol Research GroupPublic Health InstituteEmeryvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Sangath Center, Alto PorvorimGoaIndia
  4. 4.London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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