Healthc Inform Res.  2017 Apr;23(2):109-118. 10.4258/hir.2017.23.2.109.

Using Online Respondent Driven Sampling for Vietnamese Youths' Alcohol Use and Associated Risk Factors

  • 1Biomedical Global Institute of Healthcare Research & Technology (BIGHEART), National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • 2Institute for Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 3Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
  • 4Institute for Global Health Innovations, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam.
  • 5Authority of HIV/AIDS Control, Vietnam Ministry of Health, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 6School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 7Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Vietnam-Germany Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 8Department of Immunology and Allergy, National Otolaryngology Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 9Vietnam Young Physicians' Association, Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • 10Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


The average alcohol consumption per capita among Vietnamese adults has consistently increased. Although alcohol-related disorders have been extensively studied, there is a paucity of research shedding light on this issue among Internet users. The study aimed to examine the severity of alcohol-related disorders and other associated factors that might predispose individuals towards alcohol usage in a sample of youths recruited online.
An online cross-sectional study was conducted with 1,080 Vietnamese youths. A standardized questionnaire was used. Respondent-driven sampling was applied to recruit participants. Multivariate logistic and Tobit regressions were utilized to identify the associated factors.
About 59.5% of the males and 12.7% of the total youths declared that they were actively using alcohol. From the total sample, a cumulative total of 32.3% of the participants were drinking alcohol, with 21.8% and 25.0% of the participants being classified as drinking hazardously and binge drinkers, respectively. The majority of the participants (60.7%) were in the pre-contemplative stage.
A high prevalence of hazardous drinking was recognized among online Vietnamese youths. In addition, we found relationships between alcohol use disorder and other addictive disorders, such as tobacco smoking and water-pipe usage. Our results highlighted that the majority of the individuals are not receptive to the idea of changing their alcohol habits, and this would imply that there ought to be more government effort towards the implementation of effective alcohol control policies.


Online; Alcohol; Youth; Vietnam

MeSH Terms

Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Risk Factors*
Surveys and Questionnaires*


1. World Health Organization. Global status report on alcohol and health 2014. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization;2014.
2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Alcohol-use disorders: prevention [Internet]. London, UK: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence;c2017. cited at 2017 Apr 15. Available from:
3. World Health Organization. Statistics of alcohol consumption in Vietnam [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization;2014. cited at 2017 Apr 15. Available from:
4. Luu BN, Nguyen TT, Newman IM. Traditional alcohol production and use in three provinces in Vietnam: an ethnographic exploration of health benefits and risks. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14:731.
5. Van Bui T, Blizzard CL, Luong KN, Van Truong NL, Tran BQ, Otahal P, et al. Alcohol consumption in Vietnam, and the use of ‘standard drinks’ to measure alcohol intake. Alcohol Alcohol. 2016; 51(2):186–195.
6. Statista. Age distribution of internet users in Vietnam as of April 2013 [Internet]. New York (NY): Statista;c2016. cited at 2017 Apr 15. Available from:
7. Lobstein T, Landon J, Thornton N, Jernigan D. The commercial use of digital media to market alcohol products: a narrative review. Addiction. 2017; 112:Suppl 1. 21–27.
8. Gutierrez KM, Cooper TV. The use of social networking sites: a risk factor for using alcohol, marijuana, and synthetic cannabinoids? Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016; 163:247–250.
9. Huang GC, Unger JB, Soto D, Fujimoto K, Pentz MA, Jordan-Marsh M, et al. Peer influences: the impact of online and offline friendship networks on adolescent smoking and alcohol use. J Adolesc Health. 2014; 54(5):508–514.
10. Griffiths R, Casswell S. Intoxigenic digital spaces? Youth, social networking sites and alcohol marketing. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2010; 29(5):525–530.
11. Kubal A, Shvab I, Wojtynska A. Initiation of the RDS recruitment process: seed selection and role. In : Tyldum G, Johnston L, editors. Applying respondent driven sampling to migrant populations: lessons from the field. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Pivot;2014. p. 37–48.
12. Wejnert C, Pham H, Krishna N, Le B, DiNenno E. Estimating design effect and calculating sample size for respondent-driven sampling studies of injection drug users in the United States. AIDS Behav. 2012; 16(4):797–806.
13. World Health Organization. Health of Adolescents in Viet Nam. Manila, Philippines: Regional Office for the Western Pacific, World Health Organization;2010.
14. Tran BX, Nguyen LH, Nguyen CT, Phan HT, Latkin CA. Alcohol abuse increases the risk of HIV infection and diminishes health status of clients attending HIV testing services in Vietnam. Harm Reduct J. 2016; 13:6.
15. Tran BX, Ohinmaa A, Nguyen LT. Quality of life profile and psychometric properties of the EQ-5D-5L in HIV/AIDS patients. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2012; 10:132.
16. Karam F, Berard A, Sheehy O, Huneau MC, Briggs G, Chambers C, et al. Reliability and validity of the 4-item perceived stress scale among pregnant women: results from the OTIS antidepressants study. Res Nurs Health. 2012; 35(4):363–375.
17. Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S, Sturdivant RX. Applied logistic regression. 3rd ed. Hoboken (NJ): Wiley;2013.
18. Diep PB, Knibbe RA, Giang KB, De Vries N. Alcohol-related harm among university students in Hanoi, Vietnam. Glob Health Action. 2013; 6:1–10.
19. Eysenbach G, Wyatt J. Using the Internet for surveys and health research. J Med Internet Res. 2002; 4(2):e13.
20. Kaljee LM, Genberg BL, Minh TT, Tho LH, Thoa LT, Stanton B. Alcohol use and HIV risk behaviors among rural adolescents in Khanh Hoa Province Viet Nam. Health Educ Res. 2005; 20(1):71–80.
21. Moreno MA, Whitehill JM. Influence of social media on alcohol use in adolescents and young adults. Alcohol Res. 2014; 36(1):91–100.
22. Paschall MJ, Lipperman-Kreda S, Grube JW. Effects of the local alcohol environment on adolescents' drinking behaviors and beliefs. Addiction. 2014; 109(3):407–416.
23. Jones-Webb R, Nelson T, McKee P, Toomey T. An implementation model to increase the effectiveness of alcohol control policies. Am J Health Promot. 2014; 28(5):328–335.
24. White A, Hingson R. The burden of alcohol use: excessive alcohol consumption and related consequences among college students. Alcohol Res. 2013; 35(2):201–218.
25. The National Health Service. Calories in alcohol [Internet]. London, UK: The National Health Service;2016. cited at 2017 Apr 15. Available from:
26. Jawad M, McIver C, Iqbal Z. Prevalence and correlates of lifetime waterpipe, cigarette, alcohol and drug use among secondary school students in Stoke-on-Trent, UK: a post hoc cross-sectional analysis. J Public Health (Oxf). 2014; 36(4):615–621.
27. Thrul J, Klein AB, Ramo DE. Smoking cessation intervention on facebook: which content generates the best engagement? J Med Internet Res. 2015; 17(11):e244.
28. Bertholet N, Daeppen JB, McNeely J, Kushnir V, Cunningham JA. Smartphone application for unhealthy alcohol use: a pilot study. Subst Abus. 2017; 01. 23. 1–8. [Epub]. DOI: 10.1080/08897077.2017.1281860.
29. Bricker JB, Copeland W, Mull KE, Zeng EY, Watson NL, Akioka KJ, et al. Single-arm trial of the second version of an acceptance & commitment therapy smartphone application for smoking cessation. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017; 170:37–42.
30. Zhang MW, Ward J, Ying JJ, Pan F, Ho RC. The alcohol tracker application: an initial evaluation of user preferences. BMJ Innov. 2016; 2(1):8–13.
Full Text Links
  • HIR
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: