Survey of attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol and other drug use in allied health and physician assistant students

Jeffrey N. Baldwin, R. Ellen Davis-Hall, Edward M. DeSimone, David M. Scott, Sangeeta Agrawal, Thomas P. Reardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol and other drug (AOD) use were assessed among a subgroup of allied health (AH) and physician assistant (PA) students within two university-based health professions educational institutions in a midwestern state in 1999. AH/PA student response was 423 (77.5%); this included occupational therapy (n = 81; 60.4%), physical therapy [PT] (n = 222; 98.7%), PA (n = 68; 85.0%), and other AH programs (n = 52; 48.1%). In this AH/PA group, a family history of alcohol-related problems was reported by 40.1% and drug-related problems by 11.3%, with 42.5% of respondents reporting one or both. Such histories of family alcohol and drug problems were reported by 47.8% or 18.5% of PA students, respectively. Past-year alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use were reported, respectively, by 88.1%, 26.1%, and 6.7%. The highest percentage use of marijuana was reported by PT stu-dents (9.0%). Past-year blackouts were reported by 21.9%, driving after three or more drinks or any drug use by 49.3%, attendance at class or work under the influence of AOD by 7.8%, patient care under the influence of AOD by 3.3%, lowered grades or job evaluations from AOD use by 5.0%, and AOD-related legal charges by 4.5%. "Heavy drinking" (defined as consumption of five or more drinks per occasion during the past 2 weeks) was reported by 33.2%. Inadequate AOD education was reported by 55.1%, with 63.6% of PT respondents so reporting. AH and PA educational systems should proactively address student AOD prevention, education, and assistance needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of allied health
Volume37
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2008

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Baldwin, J. N., Davis-Hall, R. E., DeSimone, E. M., Scott, D. M., Agrawal, S., & Reardon, T. P. (2008). Survey of attitudes and behaviors toward alcohol and other drug use in allied health and physician assistant students. Journal of allied health, 37(3), 156-161.