Alcohol use among sixth-year medical students at the University of the Free State

A L Marais, F J W Calitz, L U Z Rataemane, G Joubert


Introduction. Excessive alcohol consumption among students is cause for concern, not only because medical students them- selves may suffer in the long term but also because of the potential negative impact this may have on their effectiveness as tomorrow’s doctors.

Objectives. The aim of the study was to investigate alcohol use among 6th-year medical students at the University of the Free State (UFS) and reasons for their alcohol use.

Methods. After a compulsory lecture on an unrelated topic, the 6th-year medical students at the UFS were given a demo- graphic questionnaire, the self-rated Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a shortened version of the self- rated Inventory of Drug-taking Situations (IDTS) to complete.

Conclusion. From the results of this study it is clear that a sig- nificant number of 6th-year medical students at the UFS (28.3%) use alcohol in a harmful way. Most students use alco- hol when they are with friends or in some kind of social setting. However, a number of students use alcohol to cope with stress- ful situations. It is therefore important that the prevention of harmful use of alcohol should receive attention in medical schools.

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Submitted: 17 December 2015
Published: 01 December 2002

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)