Risks of abusive use of alcohol by nursing students: a descriptive study


Rodrigo Leite Pereira1, Vera Maria Sabóia2

1,2 Fluminense Federal University


Primary Aim: To develop an educational technology with nursing undergraduates to analyze their views and to communicate the social risks related to the abusive consumption of alcohol.

Method: This is a qualitative, descriptive research, through a participative observation. It uses focal groups’ techniques together with analysis of the topic from the collected data. The total sample will be composed of 40 undergraduates, distributed between the first and last undergraduate year of the nursing course at Fluminense Federal University (UFF, in Portuguese), in the city of Niterói, Brazil. This study intends to subsidize educational strategies aimed at preventing the social risks produced by the excessive use of alcohol, and is directed to this group of the population.
Descriptors: Alcoholic Beverages; Education; Students, Nursing; Perception



It would be reasonable to assume that college students and professionals from the area of healthcare would be less vulnerable to falling ill, or subject to complaints originating from the use of alcohol, due to their wider understanding of the topic. However, some studies show a high prevalence of alcohol consumption among college students in the healthcare sector (including nursing). As a result, this behavior has a number of social impacts, such as harm to their personal and professional lives(1,2).

Due to this problem, it is necessary to propose some changes in the educational process regarding the use of alcohol in the area of nursing. This is to generate an environment of health promotion, selective prevention and damage reduction, in the abuse of this drug in the college environment.



Which type of educational technology would be most appropriate in analyzing the perception of risks from the abusive use of alcohol among nursing students from Aurora de Afonso Costa Nursing School, at Fluminense Federal University (EEAAC/UFF, in Portuguese), and at the same time, approach and communicate this topic to this particular college population?



To develop an educational technology with nursing students, to analyze their perceptions, and to communicate the social risks related to the consumption of alcohol.


This is a descriptive, participative study with a qualitative approach, which will follow four methodological steps. The first step was based on a bibliographical review done through the Virtual Health Library and the CAPES website (CAPES stands for Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel). The theses and scientific articles were selected from the list of specific topics (alcohol, abusive use of drugs, nursing students, university, vulnerability, risks, perception, prevention and educational technology).

The second stage was based on writing guidelines to the focus groups, including how an educational technology called “Communicative Game of Risks” will be performed. This game, adapted from the study of Yonekura and Soares(3), deals with the abusive use of alcohol and is directed to the process of teaching-learning in the academic education of nursing. We intend to use this game both as an educational instrument and as a data collection tool. It will be used to increase nursing students’ awareness through their opinions and justifications, and to highlight problems related to the risks of the abusive use of alcohol by health professionals, and inform the subjects about the risks of alcohol abuse.

The third stage will discuss the evaluative-qualitative investigation. This will be through participative observation and the use of the focal group technique. It is intended ten nursing students per semester will form a sample and will be selected during the second semester of 2013. Undergraduate nursing students from the first to fourth semester at UFF will be considered as subjects, as they have not taken any subject that deals with drugs, or acquired information based on previous knowledge. Undergraduates from the eighth and ninth semesters will also be included because they have studied the majority of the subjects; therefore, it is assumed they have more scientific understanding than students at the beginning of the undergraduate course. The methods used (participating observation and focal group technique) support the application of educational technologies(3). Therefore, they will help to evaluate attitudes, individual judgments, values, meanings, level of scientific knowledge and sensitize the subjects of the study towards the topic under discussion.

The fourth step, or the final phase of systematization of the collected qualitative data, will occur with the crisscrossing of results through the theoretical model of category evaluation of content, to build empirical categories. The comparative analysis of the perception of risks, by subjects in the first and last semesters, will be done through the elaboration of qualitative indicators developed from the inter-subjective relationship between the researchers and the researched, established during interviews with the focal groups.



1. Santos ML, Marcelino PW, Berardinelli LMM. University, youth and alcohol consumption: an exploraty study. Online braz j nurs [ Internet ]. 2012 April [ Cited 2013 Sept 19 ] 11 (1). Available from nursing/article/view/3576. doi:

2. Picolotto E, Libardoni LFC, Migott AMB, Greib LTC. Prevalência e fatores associados com o consumo de substâncias psicoativas por acadêmicos de enfermagem da Universidade de Passo Fundo. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva. 2010; 15(3):645-654.

3. Yonekura T, Soares CB. O jogo educativo como estratégia de sensibilização para coleta de dados com adolescentes. Rev. Latino-Am. Enfermagem [ serial on the Internet ]. 2010 Oct [ cited 2013 Sep 29 ] 18(5): 968-974. Available from: &lng=en.



Dissertation Project of the Professional Master Program in Education in Health at Fluminense Federal University, which is part of the research project, called “Perception and communication of social risks and to health associated to the abusive use of alcohol and other drugs among nursing students of the Fluminense Federal University”. Approved by the Ethics in Research Committee (CEP, in Portuguese) of the Antonio Pedro College Hospital (HUAP, in Portuguese)/UFF, under registry number 02733312.3.0000.5243.
Tutor: Vera Maria Sabóia



Received: 24/09/2013
Revised: 30/09/2013
Approved: 30/09/2013