Author(S): S. Mdleleni, N. Naicker, F. Made, V. Ntlebi, T. Kootbodien, N. Tlotleng, M. Makhubele, K. Wilson

Source: Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, DOI: 10.1080/19338244.2021.1879720

ABSTRACT: Informal workers may be prone to problematic substance use due to many factors, including adverse working conditions and low income. The aim of this secondary analysis was to investigate problematic alcohol use risk factors among male informal workers in Johannesburg, South Africa. Alcohol use among the two groups of informal workers in the analysis y golf caddies and waste pickers was measured using the World Health Organization (WHO) Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) tool. The WHO selfreporting questionnaire (SRQ) for common mental health disorders (CMD) was used to assess mental health. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to explore the predictors of problematic drinking in informal workers. The study consisted of 514 participants, of which 48.4% were golf caddies and 51.6%, waste pickers. Most participants were younger than 40years (50.9%). Over half of the participants (54.7%) were alcohol consumers and 74.1% were smokers. Over 60% of the participants who were alcohol consumers had a probable drinking problem. Unstratified regression results showed that common mental distress (aOR ¼ 1.06; 95%CI: 1.01–1.09), age: 30–40 years (aOR ¼ 2.17; 95%CI: 1.18–3.97), smoking (aOR ¼ 2.25; 95%CI: 1.34–3.79), and other water sources (aOR ¼ 0.2; 95%CI: 0.04–0.99) were associated with a probable alcohol problem. Waste pickers (aOR ¼ 0.33; 95%CI: 0.20–0.70) were less likely to be problematic drinkers compared to golf caddies. Problematic drinking in this study was common in both caddies and waste pickers along with smoking. Problematic alcohol use was associated with caddying, mental distress, age, and smoking. Measures such as providing counseling services to informal workers and improvement of working conditions may help change the behaviors of these vulnerable groups.