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Tracking biases: an update to the validity and reliability of alcohol retail sales data for estimating population consumption in Scotland

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Audrey Henderson, Mark Robinson, Rachel McAdams, Gerry McCartney, Clare Beeston

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Aims: To highlight the importance of monitoring biases when using retail sales data to estimate population alcohol consumption.
Methods: Previously, we identified and where possible quantified sources of bias that may lead to under- or overestimation of alcohol consumption in Scotland. Here, we update findings by using more recent data and by quantifying emergent biases.
Results: Underestimation resulting from the net effect of biases on population consumption in Scotland increased from -4% in 2010 to -7% in 2013.
Conclusion: Biases that might impact on the validity and reliability of sales data when estimating population consumption should be routinely monitored and updated.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-366
Number of pages4
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number3
Early online date28 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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