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Social and Clinical Profiling among Chronic Alcohol Dependent Men and Women Attending AA Groups in Trinidad

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Author(s): Rainah Seepersad | Hari Maharajh

Journal: International Journal of Clinical Medicine
ISSN 2158-284X

Volume: 01;
Issue: 02;
Start page: 54;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Alcoholics Anonymous | Gender | Alcohol | Trinidad and Tobago | Ethnicity

ABSTRACT
Background: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is well established in Trinidad and serves as an indispensable modality in the rehabilitation of alcoholics. This study investigates the gender differences in socio-demographic characteristics and clinical presentation of AA members in Trinidad. Method: Data were collected along the following variables: age, gender, ethnicity, religion, age of onset of alcohol use, psychiatric diagnoses and intentions for seeking treatment. An investigation of 107 members attending AA groups in Trinidad was conducted and analyzed utilizing a demographic questionnaire and the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST). The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, Version 16) was used to conduct all statistical analyses. Results: The age of the sample ranged from 22 to 78 with a mean age of 48.01 Males dominated the sample, accounting for 68% (n = 73), while females were 32% (n = 34). In terms of Ethnicity, East Indians accounted for 62% (n = 65) of the sample, Africans 14% (n = 15), Mixed 16% (n = 17) and other 7% (n = 7). Religious constitution was dominated by Hindus 36% (n = 38), Roman Catholics 21% (n = 22), other 14% (n = 15), Presbyterian 10% (n = 11), Pentecostal 9% (n =10), Muslim 5% (n = 6) and Anglican 4% (n = 5). Results utilizing the t-test showed that mean scores for males versus females differed significantly from each other (t (1,105) = 2.11, p = 0.036) with males having a higher score on the MAST compared to females. Overall 14% of individu¬als indicated to having a co-morbid psychiatric disorder of which 10.5% were depression. Conclusion: Significant dif¬ferences existed between genders in the clinical presentation of alcohol dependence. The composition and structure of AA groups in Trinidad is fashioned on a male gender bias. There is a need to address specific gender issues in the treatment of female alcoholics.
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