Abstract: A Study of Alcohol Overserving at Sporting Events Using Pseudopatrons (Society for Prevention Research 24th Annual Meeting)

240 A Study of Alcohol Overserving at Sporting Events Using Pseudopatrons

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Johanna Gripenberg, PhD, Researcher/Director, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Tobias H. Elgan, PhD, Researcher, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Natalie Durbeej, PhD, Researcher, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Camilla Jalling, BA, Researcher, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Harold Holder, PhD, Researcher, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Oakland, CA
Introduction: Alcohol intoxication and overserving of alcohol at sporting events is of great concern in Sweden and other countries. In fact, during the last few years this matter has been on the agenda for Swedish policy makers, authorities and key stakeholders, demanding action to be to be taken in order to reduce violence and other alcohol related problems. Environmental prevention strategies have a promising potential to reduce alcohol use and violence at sporting events. However, knowledge is lacking about the frequency of overserving and staffs’ interventions towards obviously intoxicated visitors. In 2015, a research project was initiated aiming at reducing alcohol related violence at sporting events in Sweden. Here we present the results from the baseline assessment where overserving of alcohol and staffs’ intervention towards obviously intoxicated patrons were studied at soccer games.

Methods: This study use a quasi-experimental control group design where the largest city in Sweden is the intervention area and the second largest city is the control area. The setting is licensed premises inside and outside soccer arenas in addition to entrances to the arenas. Actors were hired and trained by an expert panel to act a standardized scene of severe intoxication at licensed premises inside and outside arenas as well as at the entries at arenas. Observers were trained to monitor the attempts. The planned alcohol intervention, to be initiated in 2016, will utilize an environmental approach to prevention and the strategies selected will be based on baseline studies and needs assessments and could include community mobilization, responsible beverage service training, policy work, and improved controls and sanctions.

Results: Data collection is currently ongoing and baseline assessment will be finalized during 2015. This study will generate three types of data: (i) frequency of alcohol service to the pseudopatrons at licensed premises outside the arenas (> 150 attempts), (ii) frequency of service at licensed premises inside the arenas (> 150 attempts), and (iii) frequency of security staffs’ intervention towards the pseudopatrons (> 100 attempts).

Conclusions: There is an urgent need to reduce alcohol related violence at sporting events, however, there is a lack of knowledge of the extent of the problem and what strategies that are effective. This novel study therefore makes an important contribution not only to the research community, but also to public health officials, decision makers, authorities, the general public as well as the sports community.