Alcohol Gel Ingestion Among Homeless Eastern and Central Europeans in London: Assessing the Effects on Cognitive Functioning and Psychological Health

Journal article


Dawkins, LE, Soar, K and Papaioannou, G (2016). Alcohol Gel Ingestion Among Homeless Eastern and Central Europeans in London: Assessing the Effects on Cognitive Functioning and Psychological Health. Substance Use and Misuse.
AuthorsDawkins, LE, Soar, K and Papaioannou, G
Abstract

Background: Intentional consumption of alcohol based hand gels has been reported especially amongst non-UK national, alcohol dependent, homeless individuals in London. Whilst alcohol misuse is known to be associated with impaired cognitive functioning and mental health problems, the effects of additional ingestion of alcohol gel are unknown. Objectives: To explore cognitive and psychological functioning in users who intentionally ingest alcohol gel compared with ethyl-alcohol only misusers and controls. Methods: Male, Central and Eastern European alcohol only misusers, (n=14; mean age 39 years), alcohol gel users (n=14; mean age 43 years) and controls (n=12; mean age 31 years) were recruited from a London Homeless Service during 2013/14. Alcohol misusers, alcohol gel users and controls were compared on the Forwards and Backwards Digit Span Test; Block Design test; Retrospective and Prospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ) and the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS). Results: Alcohol gel users performed significantly worse on the Block Design task (p<0.01) and PRMQ (p<0.01) relative to both alcohol only and control groups, and significantly worse on the digit span relative to controls (p=0.01). Both alcohol misusing groups scored comparatively on digit span backwards (p<0.01), with both groups performing significantly worse than controls. The alcohol gel group reported significantly higher levels of anxiety relative to controls (p=0.02). Conclusions: Whilst there could be constitutional differences between alcohol misusers who additionally abuse alcohol gel, the findings suggest that alcohol gel ingestion may have a greater impact on psychological functioning than traditional alcohol misuse.

KeywordsAlcohol; Alcohol gel; Anxiety; Cognition; Homeless
Year2016
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
PublisherTaylor &amp; Francis: STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles
ISSN1532-2491
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3109/10826084.2016.1168441
Publication dates
Print25 May 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Jun 2016
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87404

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