Medical Journal of Zambia

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Binge drinking and psychomotor performance in female social drinkers of Kalingalinga in Lusaka, Zambia

D.V. Likashi, R. Paul, L. Jason


Introduction: Consuming large amounts of alcohol on an irregular basis is a common form of alcohol misuse among female adolescents and  young women. This form of alcohol misuse is called binge drinking (BD) and is associated with harm to the central nervous system mainly due to repeated alternations between intense intoxication and withdrawal  episodes. Adverse effects of BD on cognitive functions such as  psychomotor skills negatively impact on women's daily living.
Methodology: Using a matched-pairs design and snowball sampling method, the present study investigated the relationship between binge drinking and psychomotor performance in a population of female social drinkers of Kalingalinga in Lusaka, Zambia. Two specific objectives based on continuity hypothesis guided the study; to identify  characteristics of binge drinking among female social drinkers; to compare motor skills performance between female binge drinkers and their non-drinking female  counterparts. Sixty female participants (30 drinkers and 30 nondrinkers) were enrolled. Data was collected through a two-phase approach; AUDIT questionnaires in the first place and neuropsychological testing of motor skills using Grooved Pegboard and Finger Tapping tests, over a two-weeks period. Pearson's Chi-square revealed no significant differences in demographic  characteristics. Data was normally distributed as shown by Shapiro Wilk's test and skewness and kurtosis results. Hence the use of the independent samples t-test whose results showed slower psychomotor performance among binge drinkers (M=84.07, SD=10.581; M=1.2167, SD=7.260 and M=42.17, SD=.88749) on both the Grooved Pegboard and Finger tapping tests than the non-drinking control group (M=66.77, SD=8.295; M=.5167,  SD=5.050 and M=50.45, SD=.62261).
Conclusion: In conclusion, these results seem to suggest that there is a statistically significant relationship between BD and psychomotor  performance among female social drinkers. The implication is that these women may be at risk of home and/or road accidents and that BD may impinge on their multitask-taking skills which may in turn affect their families and society. It is hoped that the results of the study will; open research prospects on female alcohol BD in Zambia and help therapists to consider focusing their efforts on the intensity and frequency of alcohol consumption as predicted by the study's regression analyses.

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