A Multidimensional Latent Class Analysis of Harmful Alcohol Use Among Older Adults: Subtypes Within the Swedish Addiction Severity Index Registry
The present study aimed to identify multidimensional typologies of harmful alcohol use based on the Swedish Addiction Severity Index (ASI) assessment data on individuals aged 50 years and above.
Latent class analysis examined 11 indicators from ASI data on 1747 individuals (men = 1255, women = 492) who reported they were troubled by alcohol problem at least one day in the past 30 days before their assessment. The discriminative validity of the classes was assessed by comparing other measures of individual characteristics and problem severity of other ASI dimensions.
Five subtypes of harmful alcohol use were identified. Two classes with alcohol problems varying in psychosocial functioning, age composition and ages of onset of both regular and heavy drinking. Two with psychiatric comorbidity but varying in violence, criminality, gender composition and ages of onset of regular and heavy drinking. One with high prevalence of concurrent use of other substances, psychiatric, legal, and employment problems.
The analysis identified, in a national sample, heterogeneous risk groups of older adults with harmful alcohol use. These findings suggest a need for healthcare providers to assess older adults not only for their substance use but also for associated problems and needs. Given these findings, the Addiction Severity Index is a valuable assessment tool for older adults with harmful alcohol use.