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Asking people about their drinking on the ‘Grog Survey App’ and applying these learnings to other drugs

25 Mar 2021
Ballroom 2

Asking people about their drinking on the ‘Grog Survey App’ and applying these learnings to other drugs

There is a severe lack of accurate data on patterns of drinking and drug use among Indigenous Australians. The most reliable data is more than two decades old and specific to Indigenous Australians living in urban areas. Sensitivity of asking about alcohol and other drug use, particularly among Indigenous Australians, can pose extra challenges in household surveys or clinical settings. Here we present the final version of the Grog App. We then describe plans to extend this tool to improve self-report data on methamphetamine, other illicit drugs and tobacco. The Drug App will also provide immediate and tailored brief intervention, something not currently available.

The survey items and app interface were developed iteratively based on consultations with Aboriginal community members and health professionals, and review of published and grey literature. Survey items were drafted and app functionality built following feedback from Aboriginal health professionals, survey experts, researchers and investigators.

 The Grog Survey App has been shown to be accurate and acceptable tool to help Indigenous Australians describe what they drink. The survey includes options to estimate alcohol consumption as an individual or as part of a group (to determine an individual’s share). Several modifications to language were made on the advice of Aboriginal health professionals, to ensure greater suitability of survey items for an Indigenous Australian context. We explore challenges anticipated to extend this survey to other drug use.

This study describes the process taken to develop a tablet-based survey ‘App’ to help Indigenous Australians to describe and measure their drinking and drug use. This appealing format of the App is likely to have use in other marginalized populations.