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A variable taken from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) was used to examine nurses' views on a range of measures for problems associated with illicit drug use.
The seven items in this variable are displayed in table 1 in the same order as they appeared in the NDSHS (AIHW 2002).
Nurses' views were compared with those of the general population via the raw data held in the NDSHS database (AIHW 2002).
In addition, for the NDSHS a Maximum level (the highest quantity for which the response was not none) was identified (see Table 2 which also provides the percentages and ns capped at various levels).
Using category midpoints (or values noted), the same variables were computed as in the NDSHS, viz, maximum, capped volume, number of drinking days, and respective capped or prorated frequencies of the GF ranges.
Considering first the Australian 2004 NDSHS, Table 1 gives results of analyses using the distributions of the yesterday amounts, in standard drinks for corresponding GF quantity ranges.
Unlike the NAS GF measure, which for efficiency begins with a maximum question, allowing unnecessary GF quantity levels to be skipped, the paper-and-pencil format used in the Australian NDSHS requires derivation of the maximum based on the pattern of completion of the GF matrix.
Table 4 results were very similar to those found for the NDSHS (see Table 1), although the upper levels of the NAS GF quantity ranges (13g US standard drinks) differ from those used in the Australian survey (10g standard drinks).
Finally, we used the distributions of the daily data from both the yesterday measure (Australian NDSHS) and the 28-day diaries (Self-Report Measurement Study), taken as the criteria distribution, in each case, to examine whether adjusting the 12-month GF levels by downward capping or prorating more closely resembled the criterion distribution (data not shown; tables available from the first author).
Thus, as with the NDSHS, for the US sample requiring adjustment, the mean volume in drinks per day given by the capping procedure is closer to the diary-based mean volume than the equivalent result based on prorating.
The self-report measurement study permits an analysis not possible in the case of the NDSHS yesterday measure since 28 days diary data provides a distribution across drinking quantity levels to compare with the 12-Month GF levels on an individual (not only a group) basis.
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