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MEETINGS AND CONFERENCE

Meetings and Conference



SMART Project's Meeting in Conjunction with the KBS Annual Symposium
(Lausanne, 1 June 2010).

DRAFT MINUTES        < PDF document >

1. Introduction

The meeting was conveyed in conjunction with the KBS Annual Symposium held in Lausanne on 31 May - 4 June 2010. It was held as a regular workshop scheduled in the KBS Symposium programme on Tuesday 17:15 till 19:00 and was eventually prolonged until 19:30. The workshop was attended by eight participants representing six out of ten participating countries, including Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Poland (list of participants attached).

The agenda (attached) was adopted. It covered recent news, progress up-to-date in recent activities in both qualitative and quantitative approaches, publications and coming alcohol conference in Madrid which offers an opportunity to disseminate results of our study.

Extension of the project
Of major concern was a question of extension of the project by two months as a formal end of the project is 31 August 2010 which implies that the project's final European conference will have to be held during high summer time season. Such a timing may reduce participation of important experts to a very low level, affecting therefore dissemination work package of the project and in particular consensus seeking process towards standardisation of measurement of alcohol consumption and related problems at the EU level. First request for extension was sent early this year and draft amendment submitted in March 2010. It has not been approved yet despite numerous communications including a face-to-face meeting with a new project's officer in Luxembourg.
In 20 month of project's life, it has got three consecutive project's officers at Executive Agency on Health and Consumers (EAHC). Since April this year our project's officer is Hristina Mileva who is very co-operative doing her best to get approval of the extension.

Tentatively, three alternative dates of the final EU conference to disseminate SMART products were adopted:

  • 30-31 August 2010
  • 18-19 October 2010
  • 25-26 October 2010


It was agreed that a gender ratio should be taken under consideration while selecting participants of the conference.

Co-ordination SMART-EHIS
Jacek Moskalewicz reported about his meeting in Brussels with Hél?ne MIMILIDIS from Belgian National Institute of Public Health which is charge of drafting alcohol questions for European Health Interview Survey (EHIS). EHIS is co-ordinated by EUROSTAT and by 2014 it will become obligatory for all Member States. Current draft has three questions only focusing solely on alcohol consumption:

  • consumption questions only
  • generic frequency taken from AUDIT
  • average consumption each day from Monday to Sunday
  • frequency 6+ drinks

No attempts are foreseen to estimate annual consumption of those questions. In July an expert meeting will be organised to discuss details of the alcohol section of EHIS. Some experts from the SMART project are likely to be invited. Final version of the alcohol section of EHIS is expected by October 2010.

Irish national survey
In June, a national alcohol survey will be held in Ireland based on experiences of the SMART pilot survey. Ann Hope circulated her draft questionnaire requesting comments. It was difficult to comment as analyses of the SMART pilot survey was not completed. Nevertheless, it was accepted that Jacek Moskalewicz and Janusz Sieroslawski will draft comments and send them to assist Ann Hope in her task.

Progress in qualitative work
All countries but Spain provided their country reports from the pilot survey. Reports summarised pilot experiences, including qualitative assessment of the questionnaire and its individual sections made by respondents and interviewers right after completion of the interview.
Five countries - Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Poland and UK completed focus group discussions on relevance of the basic concepts used in the questionnaire. All but Czech Republic provided the focus group reports.
As lack of focus group data from three countries - Finland, Germany and Spain would mean a serious gap for the project both content- and financial-wise Finland and Germany will consider possibilities to carry out focus group discussions and provide relevant reports by June. No declaration was given from Spain as its representative was not present.
Interest in further comparative analyses of qualitative data was confirmed by Zsuzsanna Elekes and Jacek Moskalewicz; commitment with this regard had been earlier expressed by Alina Alaste and Betsy Thom.

Progress in quantitative analyses
Data base consisting of about 2000 questionnaires from nine countries is completed and cleaned. Utility of three consumption measures was tested. Beverage-specific quantity-frequency (BSQF) measure proved to estimate significantly higher level of annual consumption compared to graduated frequency (GF) and last occasion (LO) measures. BSQF was superior in this regard in six out of nine countries. In Estonia, Finland and Poland LO measure gave slightly higher estimates compared to BSQF but that difference was not statistically significant. BSQF offered also relatively good prediction of alcohol abuse and dependency as measured by DSM-IV questions, AUDIT and RAPS. All ROC curves indicated good specificity and sensitivity with area under curve surpassing always 0.7. High predictive value of BSQF for AUDIT scores looks encouraging but it may be related to the fact that AUDIT contains consumption measures similar to BSQF. Therefore, further analyses are planned to control for AUDIT's consumption questions. Further analyses of "outliers" are also intended to consider their impact on final results. Removal of outlier cases from the data base may also be considered.

Factor analyses were carried out to understand better a nature of community problems and meaning of support for different alcohol policy measures. Number of items in both areas was then substantially reduced.

Publication of research papers
It was confirmed that first results of the project will be published in the Open Addiction Journal as a "Hot Topic Supplement". At this stage the following articles are considered:

  • Literature review on drinking survey methodologies
  • Review of drinking survey experiences across EU/EEA countries
  • Application of the standardised alcohol survey methodology in nine EU countries - results of the pilot survey
  • Meaning of basic concepts applied in alcohol surveys - results of the focus group discussions from nine EU countries
  • Literature review on cost-benefit analyses of alcohol policies and proposal of standardised methodology
  • Literature review on public support for alcohol policies


The papers should be submitted consecutively, between July and October this year as to be published by the end of year.


Alcohol conference in Madrid

On 14-16 June 2010 a conference will be held in Madrid: "WHO meeting of National Counterparts for Alcohol Policy in the WHO European Region and the AMPHORA Expert meeting". Persons responsible for co-operation with WHO as regards alcohol will attend from over 40 countries in addition to dozen or so researchers from the largest alcohol research project in EU. Jacek Moskalewicz was invited to give a half-an hour presentation "What does SMART project have to say about standardised methodologies for surveys?". The presentation should contribute to dissemination package of the project. It was agreed that the presentation will focus on methodological aspects of the pilot survey.


ATTACHMENT

SMART PROJECT'S MEETING IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE KBS ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM. LAUSANNE 1 JUNE 2010

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS:

Estonia: Maarja Kobin
Finland: Esa Ősterberg and Thomas Karlsson
Germany: Ludwig Kraus
Hungary: Zsuzsanna Eleles
Italy: Allaman Allamani
Poland: Jacek Moskalewicz and Janusz Sieroslawski


SMART PROJECT'S MEETING IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE KBS ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM. LAUSANNE 1 JUNE 2010

AGENDA

ADOPTING AGENDA 17:15 - 17:20
RECENT NEWS 17:20 - 17:40
 EAHC: AMENDMENT STILL PEDNING
EUROPEAN HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY (EHIS)
IRISH NATIONAL SURVEY 17:40 - 17:50
PROGRESS TO DATE IN QUALITATIVE REPORTS 17:50 - 18:10
PROGRESS TO DATE IN QUANTITATIVE 18:10-18:50
PUBLICATION OPEN ADDICTION JOURNAL 18:50-19:00
MADRID CONFERENCE 19:00-19:15




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