Alcohol consumption among Australian nurses: A cross-sectional national survey study

Adam Searby, Dianna Burr, Glenn Taylor, Mark Aitken, Bernice Redley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Nurses are the largest profession within the health workforce. Limited available literature suggests high rates of alcohol consumption may occur among Australian nurses. Aim: To determine the prevalence of high-risk alcohol consumption among Australian nurses. Methods: A cross-sectional national survey was distributed via professional groups and social media to Australian nurses. Participants provided demographic information and completed a modified Perceptions of Work Stress Scale. The 10-item Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to explore nurses’ self-reported alcohol consumption. Surveys were conducted between July and October 2021. Findings: The overall prevalence of risky drinking was 36.9% among participants; 26.1% at risky or hazardous levels, 5.6% at the high-risk or harmful level, and 5.1% at high-risk, almost certainly dependent levels. Correlations between work setting, stress, and risky alcohol consumption revealed nurses working in Emergency Departments were most likely to report higher perceived stress and AUDIT scores. Discussion: The prevalence of high-risk alcohol consumption among Australian nurses was higher than previously reported. The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a potential factor contributing to increased stress and alcohol consumption among Australian nurses. Conclusion: Given the current vulnerability in the nursing workforce, tailored interventions are urgently required to address high-risk alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-448
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Alcohol drinking habits
  • High-risk alcohol consumption
  • Nurses
  • Occupational stress

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