Strandheim, A., Holmen, T.L., Coombes, L. & Bentzen, N. (2009) Alcohol Intoxication and Mental Health Among Adolescents. Child and Ad9olescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 2009, 3:18.
Protection of Human Participants
According to Orb et al (2001), protection of human participants or subjects in any research study is imperative. Procedures outline for protecting human participants include equitable selection of subjects, obtaining informed consent, ensuring privacy and confidentiality, assessing the risk-benefit ratio and providing safeguards when using deceptions (Burn & Grove, 2011). The benefit of this particular study is to establish the relation between alcohol intoxications and mental health problems, with focus being placed on adolescents. In this study, there is no risk of bodily harm since no participant is subjected to an experimental environment. A huge benefit that the authors do not identify is that this research would be extremely useful when tackling alcohol intoxication among adolescents. According to the authors, Strandheim et al (2009), each student participant did sign a written consent form, and those students under the age of 16 years had their parents give a written consent. Also, privacy and confidentiality was ensured since “anonymous results were relayed to local health authorities for health services planning”. The subjects participated voluntarily in the study since the authors observe that participation was through an invite, and 91% of those invited did participate in the survey. Also, evaluation and approval of the research was done by the Norwegian Data Inspectorate Board and the regional Medicine Ethics Committee.
The major variables of this study are identified. They are alcohol use (dependent variable), mental health, anxiety and depression, and attention and conduct problems (independent variables). The primary outcome measure was the self-reported figures of alcohol intoxication, with more than ten intoxications being noted as high alcohol use across all age groups. Variables in mental health were derived from the Symptom checklist. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were measured by the Symptom checklist (SCL-5). Data collection was through a questionnaire. The students did fill out a self-administered questionnaire in an exam-like sitting, with questions on lifestyle, mental health and social-demographic factors being included. The time period for collecting data was 1 hour, and the student just had to answer the questions in the questionnaire. According to Strandheim et al (2009), the students completed the questionnaire in an exam setting in one school hour. Therefore, the process was that students were handed out the questionnaires, after which they provided their responses in one hour.
Data Management and Analysis
The study uses the Pearson Chi-square tests to derive the descriptive statistic from contingency tables. The authors describe the critical decisions made during the data analysis. Analysis uses a logistic regression model whereby alcohol intoxication is the dependent variable while the other variables are independent. Odds Ratios (OR) and 95% CI are computed from all analysis. Also, since the use of alcohol is expected to increase with age and is different between genders, each independent variable had its interactions computed. Also, stratification of all models was done according to age groups (13 to 15 years and 16 to 19 years) and gender. However, no statistical software is used in ensuring the accuracy of the analysis. The accuracy can only be determined by the Odds Ratios and the 95% confidence intervals. Since the study utilized a self-administered questionnaire as the primary data collection, the effects of researcher bias were greatly minimized. However, the research does not identify any measures in particular that were adopted to minimize the effects of researcher bias. It is not established whether the researchers did independent analysis of data.
Findings/Interpretation of Findings
The researchers found that the use of alcohol was prevalent among students who were aged between 13 and 19 years, both in terms of frequency and volume of intoxications. The high figures of alcohol intoxication, in comparison with the low amount of consumed alcohol, demonstrated patterns of heavy periodic drinking among adolescents. The gender difference in the use of alcohol use was small. In both genders, there was a close relationship between attention and conduct problems and high consumption of alcohol, with conduct problems being the closest link to frequent intoxications among boys (Strandheim et al., 2009). In girls, conduct problems and attention problems were exposed equally. Also, symptoms of anxiety and depression were linked with the high number of intoxications among girls. I have confidence in these research findings since the authors acknowledge that previous studies have established almost similar results. Also, the slight divergence in the results can be attributed to differences in methodology or local variation.
Burns, N. & Grove, S. (2011) Understanding Nursing Research. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Orb, A., Eisenhauer, L. & Wynaden, D. (2001) Ethics in Research. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2001; 33(1); 93-96.
Strandheim, A., Holmen, T.L., Coombes, L. & Bentzen, N. (2009) Alcohol Intoxication and Mental Health Among Adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 2009, 3:18.