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Title: Drinking in older adults : the role of changes in health and other influences on alcohol consumption over time
Author: Gell, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 1563
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2013
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Introduction: Alcohol consumption is common among older adults in England. Older adults may benefit from a reduction in alcohol consumption after health deterioration as drinking alcohol can worsen the symptoms of certain long-term conditions, affect the progression of diseases and interact with medications. The current research explores the factors that affect alcohol consumption change in older adults, focusing on how and why drinking behaviour is maintained or modified after health and non-health life changes. Methods: The study design was integrated mixed methods. Secondary data analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) examined the association between health and non-health changes and drinking frequency and volume change in 5,892 adults aged over 50 years. Qualitative interviews were used to explore the reasons for and processes of drinking change in 19 older adults who had been diagnosed with a long-term condition. Analysis used a thematic approach and findings were organised within a 'Capability Opportunity Motivation-Behaviour' framework. Results: Alcohol consumption was relatively stable among interview and ELSA participants; however, some older adults did modify their drinking over time. Alcohol consumption change was associated with both health and non-health changes, resulting in decreased stability of consumption over time. The process of behaviour change was facilitated by reflection on information about drinking and health and negative tangible experiences of the health consequences of drinking. Discussion: Older adults in England enjoy consuming alcohol and cite a number of social and therapeutic reasons for drinking. Health and non-health changes decreased drinking stability for some older adults, with reflection on the costs and benefits of drinking within personal belief systems an important component of the change process. The highly habitual nature of alcohol consumption in older adults poses a challenge to healthcare professionals attempting to motivate behaviour change in this population.
Supervisor: Goyder, Elizabeth ; Harris, Janet ; Meier, Petra ; Everson-Hock, Emma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available