Date Published: January 07, 2013
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Author(s): Ingeborg Rossow, Thor Norström.
This paper presents examples to illustrate the utility and limitations in the use of epidemiology in alcohol research and discusses some promising new directions.
Review of literature, concentrating on epidemiological alcohol research with relevance to public health.
Epidemiology offers tools for assessment of causes and effects of alcohol consumption as well as the effects of efforts to prevent alcohol consumption and its consequences. Epidemiological studies have made significant contributions to alcohol research with respect to public health and public policy. Fixed-effects modelling, difference-in-differences estimation and integrated qualitative and epidemiological methods are promising but underused methods in epidemiological studies. Many epidemiological studies have limited transferability of knowledge to other cultures and jurisdictions.
This paper illustrates the use of epidemiology in alcohol research by presenting some examples of its utility and limitations and discussing some promising new directions. The focus is on a few selected topics within alcohol research and some key achievements in the building of knowledge to understand drinking behaviour and related problems more clearly and effective ways to prevent these problems. Examples have been chosen for their relevance to public health and public policy, but the choice is obviously also influenced by the authors’ own research interests over the years. Unfortunately, it is impossible to pay fair tribute to the many significant contributions that can be found in this huge literature.