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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Acceptability and Effect of a Community-Based Alcohol Education Program in Rural Sri Lanka

To assess the effectiveness and acceptability of a brief community-based educational program on changing the drinking pattern of alcohol in a rural community. 

A longitudinal cohort study was carried out in two rural villages in Sri Lanka. One randomly selected village received a community education program that utilized street dramas, poster campaigns, leaflets and individual and group discussions. The control village had no intervention during this period. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to measure the drinking pattern before and at 6 and 24 months after the intervention in males over 18 years of age in both villages. The recall and the impact of various components of the intervention were assessed at 24 months post-intervention. 

The intervention was associated with the development of an active community action group in the village and a significant reduction in illicit alcohol outlets. The drama component of the intervention had the highest level of recall and preference. Comparing the control and intervention villages, there were no significant difference between baseline drinking patterns and the AUDIT. There was a significant reduction in the AUDIT scores in the intervention village compared with the control at 6 and 24 months (P < 0.0001). 

A community-based education program had high acceptance and produces a reduction in alcohol use that was sustained for 2 years.

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