Demographic factors and delay of treatment for alcohol use disorders among 6584 Danish men receiving alcohol treatment

Lea Arregui Nordahl Christoffersen, Erik Lykke Mortensen, Holger Jelling Sørensen, Ulrik Becker, Merete Osler, Trine Flensborg-Madsen

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the time lag between onset and treatment (treatment delay) for alcohol use disorders (AUD) and associations between demographic factors and treatment delay for AUD.

METHODS: The study included 6,584 men registered in the Copenhagen Alcohol Cohort, containing information on civil status, employment status, estimated age at onset of alcohol problems, and age at first outpatient AUD treatment. Data on year of birth, intelligence, and educational level were obtained from the Danish Conscription Database. Information on first hospital AUD treatment was retrieved from Danish national psychiatric registers. Associations between the demographic factors and treatment delay were analysed in separate linear regression models adjusted for year of birth and in a mutually adjusted model including all demographic factors.

RESULTS: The mean treatment delay for AUD was 6.9 years (SD = 4.1). After mutual adjustment, an SD increase in intelligence score was associated with 0.17 years increase in treatment delay. Educational level was unrelated to treatment delay. Men with estimated age at onset of alcohol problems at age 20 years or younger had a 5.30 years longer treatment delay than men who had estimated age at onset of alcohol problems at age 51 years or older. Employed men had shorter treatment delays than unemployed men, especially among the oldest birth cohorts.

CONCLUSIONS: The treatment delay of 6.9 years highlights the necessity to promote access to AUD treatment, perhaps in particular among adolescents and young individuals. Cognitive factors may affect treatment delay more than non-cognitive personal factors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Volume76
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)507-514
ISSN0803-9488
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders/diagnosis
  • Alcoholism/diagnosis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Demography
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Ethanol
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Young Adult

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