Past Issues

A Study of Well‑being in Drunken Driving Recidivists

Jui‑Cheng Lin, Chun‑Hung Lee, Yu‑Hsin Liu

Objectives: Drunk driving is related to accidents and poorer health, as well as causes a considerable economic cost. In this study, we intended to determine which sociodemographic factors can reduce health‑related quality of life (QoL). Methods: We recruited 552 drunken driver recidivists and measured their alcohol use history and sociodemographic factors. We used the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM‑5) criteria to evaluate severity of alcohol disorder. Psychological distress was measured using Beck Depression Inventory‑II (BDI‑II) and the status of well‑being using the Short Form 12‑Health Survey Questionnaire. We classified into several categories and analyzed with one‑way analysis of variance or the Welch’s test. Significant factors were further divided into subcategories for comparisons. Results: Alcohol use disorder according to DSM‑5 criteria was found to be 34.2% mild, 16.7% moderate, and 44.7% severe in severity. The Depression Index according to BDI‑II showed 70.5% in minimal, 13.2% mild, 10.5% moderate, and 5.8% severe depressed participants. In comparing subcategories according to the physical component summary (PCS), men who were older (p < 0.05), had fewer than 6 years of education (p < 0.001), unemployed (p < 0.05), homeless (p < 0.05), had monthly incomes below 15 thousand New Taiwan dollars (p < 0.05), and AUDIT scores ≥ 20 for severe depression (p < 0.001) had significantly lower QoL in PCS. In comparing subcategories according to the mental component summary (MCS), men who were unemployed (p < 0.05), homeless (p < 0.01), and AUDIT ≥ 20 for severe depression (p < 0.001) also had significantly lower QoL on MCS. Conclusion: Unemployment, homelessness, AUDIT scores ≥ 20, and higher BDI‑II scores showed a reduction not only in PCS scores but also in MCS scores. Those findings could be used to determine the drunk drivers’ behaviors and the well‑being among those recidivists. Instead of incarceration or fining for drunk drivers, we need identification and referring them to treatment in those population, especially individuals with poor socioeconomic status, depression, and severe alcohol use disorder.
Key Word Mental component of summary, physical component summary, quality of life, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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