The need for accuracy and validity in research on nightlife and drinking: A commentary on Devilly et al. and recommendations for future research
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Research on nightlife and drinking faces many unique challenges, and validity in research is an important concern. A recent publication by Devilly et al. entitled “SmartStart: Results of a large point of entry study into preloading alcohol and associated behaviours” contains definitions and assumptions about prior work that require more careful consideration. Important issues include: using a definition of pre-drinking which is the same as previous work so that valid comparison can be made, reporting of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels that comply with other work, accurate reporting of response rates, and careful consideration of sampling approaches to maximise ethical integrity. Ensuring consistency of definition and accurate representation of previous literature regarding BAC, pre-drinking and energy drink use, is important for supplying the broader community with reliable information on which policy decisions can be made.
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