Alcohol stigma as it relates to drinking behaviors and perceptions of drink drivers: a mixed method study in Moshi, Tanzania

Deena El-Gabri MSc GHa, Joao Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci PhD abc, Brian J.Meier MD, MSc GHab, Mark Mvungi MD d, Michael Haglund MD, PhDac, Monica Swahn PhD e, Blandina T.Mmbaga MD, PhD adfg, Charles J.Gerardo MD, MHS ab, Catherine A.Staton MD, MSc GHabc.
Publication year: 


Alcohol is a leading risk factor for road traffic injury in low- and middle-income countries, such as Tanzania. This research seeks to explore the drinking patterns, perceptions, and stigma of drink driving behavior of injury patients at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania.


This mixed methods study incorporated the Perceived Alcohol Stigma (PAS), an additive Likert scale, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Results are reported as medians with IQRs. Additionally, focus groups with injury patients, their families, and community members (n = 104) were conducted and analyzed in pairs using an inductive thematic content analysis approach.


Those who self-reported driving after ingesting 3 or more alcoholic drinks had a median AUDIT score (median=11.0) significantly higher than those who denied drink driving (median=5.5, p< 0.01). The PAS showed a high overall stigma against those who use alcohol but differed for drink drivers, drinkers, and abstainers (median= 20.8, 23.9, 34.9, p < 0.01). Thematic content analysis highlighted a ‘disapproving of drink drivers,’ that ‘problematic drinking is a drinking behavior which negatively affects others,’ and a ‘passiveness toward drinking and drink driving.’


Stigma against those who use alcohol is present in Tanzania. Perceived stigma is significantly lower among those who drink drive than those who do not. Overall, there appears to be a community-wide disapproval of drinking and driving, which is coupled with feeling unable to change this risky behavior.