Dr Raul Caetano

Raul Caetano, MD, PhD is Professor of Epidemiology and Assistant Dean of the Houston School of Public Health, University of Texas. He is also Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii. From 1978 to 1998 he was at the Alcohol Research Group and the School of Public Health, University of California at Berkeley. From 1993 to 1998 he was Director of the Alcohol Research Group and Principle Investigator of a United States National Alcohol Research Center on the epidemiology of drinking problems. His research has focused on the epidemiology of alcohol consumption, drinking problems and domestic violence among US ethnic minorities, especially Hispanics. Another area of research is the epidemiology of alcohol dependence in community samples and the development of diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence.

Cross-cultural forms

Much of the research on the clinical presentation, natural history and development of diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence has taken place in English-speaking countries. However, it is recognized that the manifestation of alcohol dependence is influenced by the sociocultural environment where drinking takes place. This presentation will discuss the evidence on the cross-cultural validity of the concept of alcohol dependence and its diagnostic criteria, reviewing international studies as well as multiethnic studies conducted within a country. The discussion will focus on cross-national fmdings on the clinical presentation and grouping of symptoms of alcohol dependence, and on the reliability of the existing diagnostic criteria. A second area for discussion will be the role played by cultural characteristics on symptom recognition and other factors of importance in the diagnostic process. The international nature of scientific communication and its potential influence on the standardization of the identification of alcohol dependence will be also be reviewed.