Alcohol guideline awareness and beliefs among Australian nurses: A mixed-methods study

Published:November 25, 2022DOI:



      Nurses have an important role in detection and intervention for those with problematic alcohol consumption. To reduce the societal burden of alcohol consumption, the Australian guidelines to reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol were revised in 2020.


      To report on nurse awareness of the revised alcohol guidelines and explore nurses’ beliefs around the revised alcohol guidelines.


      A sequential mixed-methods approach used convenience sampling to recruit a national sample of Australian nurses to complete an online survey to assess guideline awareness. Qualitative in-depth interviews (n = 42) were used to explore nurses’ education, beliefs, and awareness of the revised alcohol guidelines. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse survey responses, and qualitative data were analysed using structural coding.


      Only 8.8% (n = 101) of 1,145 nurse respondents correctly selected the current alcohol guidelines from four choices. Qualitative analyses suggest nurses poor understanding of the revised guidelines can be attributed to deficiencies in education and training on the new guidelines.


      Responses reflect those of the general community, indicating poor awareness of the 2020 revised alcohol consumption guidelines. Beliefs that guidelines were too strict were mentioned by nurses. Mapping findings to the Theoretical Domains Framework Behaviour Change Taxonomy suggested strategies to implement the guidelines into clinical practice include education and training, organisational support, and role modelling.


      Nurses must use contemporary guidelines and practices to reduce the health risks from alcohol. We suggest tailored education strategies for nurses including role modelling of guidelines in clinical practice, organisational support, and education to improve awareness and application.


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