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Aeree Sohn 10 Articles
Solitary and Social Drinking in South Korea: An Exploratory Study
Ju Moon Park, Aeree Sohn, Chanho Choi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(6):365-372.   Published online December 22, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.6.04
  • 3,825 View
  • 112 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

This study aimed to identify differences in drinking norms, heavy drinking, and motives between types of drinkers (abstainers, solitary, and social drinkers) in a representative sample of Korean adults.

Methods

An online survey of people registered on the electoral roll were randomly invited to be part of the “National Korean Drinking Culture Study” conducted in 2018 (n = 3,015). Participants included 1,532 men and 1,469 women aged 19–60 years. Questions included the number of times they drank in the last month, what they drank, and the volume drank. The amount of pure alcohol consumed was calculated. Drinking norms, motives, and types were determined in the survey questions.

Results

Solitary drinkers were more likely to be divorced or separated, less educated, and marginally employed. Solitary drinking peaked in those in their 30s (18.5%) and social drinkers in their 50s (68.1%). Solitary drinkers drank more frequently compared with social drinkers (6.1 vs. 3.6 times per month, p < 0.001), and consumed a significantly larger quantity of alcohol (69.5 g vs. 46.8 g per week). Solitary drinkers were more accepting of drinking-related behaviors in diverse situations compared with social drinkers. The regression analysis revealed that personal drinking motives were the most important factor influencing the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption in both solitary and social drinking.

Conclusion

Solitary drinkers may be more vulnerable to alcohol abuse than social drinkers.

Predictors Affecting the Elderly’s Use of Emergency Medical Services
Ju Moon Park, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2020;11(4):209-215.   Published online August 31, 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.24171/j.phrp.2020.11.4.10
  • 2,928 View
  • 58 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives

Elderly adults are the demographic most likely to utilize emergency medical services (EMS). This study aimed to examine the difference in EMS utilization in subgroups of the elderly population by assessing the predictors for using EMS.

Methods

Using both descriptive and logistic regression analyses, this study analyses data from the 2014 Korean Health Panel Survey (n = 3,175).

Results

It was observed that certain predisposing factors such as age, sex, and marital status were significant predictors of EMS utilization. However, differences in EMS need do not fully account for the original differences observed between subgroups of elderly Koreans. While health status and disability were important predictors of elderly Koreans using EMS, place of residence did not account for subgroup differences. Nonetheless, place of residence remained particularly important predictors of EMS utilization for the elderly.

Conclusion

Emergency needs and resource availability are 2 main determinants for elderly Koreans using EMS. In addition, it was observed that the demographic subgroup profile of unmarried/divorced/separated/widowed men who were aged 75 and older was least likely to utilize EMS. Improving their resource availability to meet their EMS needs should be a top priority for national policy making to narrow elderly population subgroup differences.

How do Sexual Identity, and Coming Out Affect Stress, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation and Attempts Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in South Korea?
Byonghee Cho, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2016;7(5):281-288.   Published online October 31, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2016.09.001
  • 1,923 View
  • 24 Download
  • 9 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study investigated the status of sexual identity, perceived stigma, stress, depression, and suicidal ideation and attempts. It also examined how sexual identity and “coming out” affect stress, depression, and suicidal ideation and attempts.
Methods
Suicidal ideation, psychological health status, and health-related behaviors were assessed using the Internet to maximize the confidentiality of the participants, men who have sex with men (MSM). The data were collected from a total of 873 MSM aged between 19 years and 59 years in 2014.
Results
Only 20.9% of the MSM had come out (18.0% voluntarily and 2.9% by others). The prevalences of perceived stress and depression among MSM were 46.7% and 42.7%, respectively, compared with 20.1% and 7.4% among general men. Approximately 32% of the MSM reported any suicidal ideation, and 3.3% had attempted suicide in the past year. The likelihood of suicidal ideation was significantly associated with being age 30–39 years [odds ratio (OR) = 1.8], high school or less (OR = 1.6), having been outed (OR = 5.2), feeling stressed (OR = 1.8), and feeling depressed (OR = 12.4) after sociodemographic factors and other perceptions were controlled for.
Conclusion
The present study provides evidence that MSM are at an elevated risk for suicidal ideation and attempts with high stress and depression. Some risk factors were specific to being gay or bisexual in a hostile environment.
Identifying Barriers to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing for Men Who Have Sex with Men in South Korea
Aeree Sohn, Byonghee Cho, Harvey A. Kennedy
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(3):192-200.   Published online June 30, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.06.003
  • 1,637 View
  • 18 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The principal objective of this study was to identify the barriers to testing for men who have sex with men (MSM) in Korea, something that might prove useful in future studies of this nature.
Methods
This study was conducted at gay bars nationwide in Korea. After considering several offline locations (gay bars) where MSM candidates are commonly located, random recruitment was performed using time–location sampling. A total of 944 individuals participated in this survey. A total sample of 921 cases (23 cases were excluded) was used for analysis. A self-administered questionnaire measuring the individuals' demographics, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS knowledge, stigma, phobia, optimism bias, self-efficacy for condom use, and sexual practices was used.
Results
About 61.8% (N = 569) of respondents reported having been tested at least once in their lifetime, and 38.9% (N = 358) acknowledged being tested within the past 12 months. After adjusting for age, education, and number of partners in a logistic regression analysis, awareness of testing place [odds ratio (OR) = 4.04], exposure to HIV prevention campaign (1.54), fear (OR = 1.13), and discrimination toward people with HIV/AIDS (OR = 0.94) were the main factors associated with HIV testing.
Conclusion
To accomplish widespread HIV testing for Korean MSM, the accessibility of testing centers and advertisement of voluntary counseling and testing to MSM are needed.
Smoking and Alcohol Drinking Related to Experience of Harmful Shops among Korean Adolescents
Jinyoung Kim, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2014;5(3):138-147.   Published online June 30, 2014
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2014.04.005
  • 1,576 View
  • 16 Download
  • 8 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study was conducted in order to determine any correlation between experience of harmful shops and adolescent smoking and alcohol drinking in middle and high school students.
Methods
The survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire online via the homepage of the Ministry of Education student Health Information Center; 1888 and 1563 questionnaires were used for middle and high school students, respectively, for a total of 3451 questionnaires in the final analysis. The collected data were processed using SPSS version 21.0 and examined using frequency analysis and hierarchical linear regression.
Results
In this research, 8.3% of all participants were found to have experienced smoking and 17.0% alcohol drinking. Regarding the types of harmful shops, 81.8% said they had been to a gaming place; 21.2% to a lodging place; 16.0% to a sex and entertainment place; and 6.8% to a harmful sex industry location. Sociodemographic variables had a significant effect on adolescent smoking and alcohol drinking. Regarding environmental variables, a significant difference was observed for living with parents and school location. Among adolescent experience of harmful shops, both smoking and alcohol drinking showed a significant association with harmful sex industry locations.
Conclusion
National government-level management and supervision on this issue will be necessary to prevent adolescent access to harmful shops, along with more studies exploring methods for implementation of policies with more systematic control of harmful shops.
The Influence of Media Communication on Risk Perception and Behavior Related to Mad Cow Disease in South Korea
Jee-Eun Park, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(4):203-208.   Published online August 31, 2013
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2013.06.005
  • 1,694 View
  • 13 Download
  • 7 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The purpose of this study was to ascertain the influence of media communication on risk behavior related to mad cow disease (MCD).
Methods
Mothers of elementary school students in Seoul were recruited as the survey participants of this study.
Results
Media reports affected risk behavior related to MCD. Also, knowledge and attitude toward MCD affects risk behavior.
Conclusion
Risk-related information provided by the media should maintain consistency and objectivity. For effective risk communication, there should be an open communication between the government and public, experts, and related industries, who should all collaborate.
Trends in the Incidence of Scrub Typhus: The Fastest Growing Vector-Borne Disease in Korea
Mi Ae Jeong, Seung-Ki Youn, Young-Kwon Kim, Hyungmin Lee, Sun-Ja Kim, Aeree Sohn
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(3):166-169.   Published online June 30, 2013
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2013.04.007
  • 1,689 View
  • 20 Download
  • 14 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Scrub typhus, also called tsutsugamushi disease, is classified as a Group 3 disease in Korea according to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance Systems. It is an infectious disease transmitted to humans through the bite of mites that are infected with an intracellular parasite called Orientia tsutsugamushi (Family: Rickettsiaceae). This study aims to identify the demographic characteristics of the infected cases according to profession, region, gender, and onset period and provide a basic data for prevention and control of the disease in the infected patients. Between 2001 and 2010, 16,741 men (36.3%) and 29,373 women (63.7%) were reported to have been infected with scrub typhus, with men being 1.6 times less infected than women. When classified according to age, it was found that 4421 persons (9.6%) were under 40 years of age; 6601 (13.1%) in their 40s; 9714 (21.1%) in their 50s; 13,067 (28.3%) in 60s; 10,128 (22.0%) in their 70s; and 2723 (5.9%) aged 80 or more. The elderly (60 years or older) represented more than half of the infected cases. When the infections were classified according to region, it was found that the county residents had the major share of infection, with a total of 1583 infected cases (59.85).
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Sexual Behaviors in HIV/AIDS and Predictors Affecting Condom Use among Men Who Have Sex with Men in South Korea
Aeree Sohn, Byonghee Cho
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(3):156-164.   Published online June 30, 2012
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.07.001
  • 2,035 View
  • 22 Download
  • 23 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
In South Korea, men who have sex with men (MSM) are rather understudied, but are known to be at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This study was to access HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and risk behaviors, and to identify the factors of condom use in HIV prevention.
Methods
We recruited 1070 MSM in Korea, using the Internet to maximize the confidentiality of the MSM.
Results
The prevalence of self-reported and sexually transmitted infections and HIV in the total sample was 10.7% and 2.7%, respectively. Factual knowledge and phobias regarding HIV/AIDS and self-efficacy were relatively high among the MSM. After controlling for age, education, marital status, and sexual identity, predictors of condom use at most recent anal sex included knowledge (OR = 1.25; p < 0.0001); self-efficacy (OR = 1.33; p = 0.02), additionally, having HIV testing (OR = 1.45; p = 0.02); and having a regular partner (OR = 0.53; p < 0.0001) were also positively associated with condom use.
Conclusion
The intervention programs for MSM in Korea may need to take the idiosyncratic societal and cultural pressures of the region into consideration in order to reduce infection risk.
Changes in Human Immunodeficiency Virusrelated Knowledge and Stigmatizing Attitudes among Korean Adolescents from 2006 to 2011
Aeree Sohn, SungBok Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(2):107-112.   Published online June 30, 2012
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.04.006
  • 1,778 View
  • 19 Download
  • 8 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study assessed the prevalence and changes of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge and stigmatizing attitudes in 2006, 2008, and 2011.
Methods
Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 2006, 2008, and 2011. A cross-sectional sample of high school students in Seoul, South Korea was targeted. A self-administered questionnaire measuring general and transmission and discriminatory attitudes was used.
Results
Misconceptions about casual contact were widespread, even though the proportion responding incorrectly decreased significantly over the 5-year period. The respondents in all surveys displayed a high level of discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS in some situations, particularly in the idea of HIV/AIDS making the respondent feel disgusted (63.3% in 2006, 57.5% in 2008, and 52.6% in 2011), avoiding sitting with people with HIV/AIDS (50.6% in 2006, 50.5% in 2008, and 48.5% in 2011), and blaming those with HIV for becoming infected (46.6% in 2006, 42.8% in 2008, and 43.0% in 2011). Even though respondents had a high level of stigmatizing attitudes, the survey showed that the stigma has declined over the 5-year period.
Conclusion
The survey results showed that public health policy should recognize that HIV stigmatizing attitudes persist in Korea. This finding has implications for the development of intervention programs focusing on reducing the levels of discrimination.
HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Stigmatizing Attitudes, and Related Behaviors and Factors that Affect Stigmatizing Attitudes against HIV/AIDS among Korean Adolescents
Aeree Sohn, SungBok Park
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(1):24-30.   Published online December 31, 2011
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.01.004
  • 1,842 View
  • 13 Download
  • 25 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
This study examined the sex differentials for specific aspects of knowledge regarding HIV, stigmatizing attitudes toward people with HIV/AIDS (PWHAs) and sexual behavior. In addition, the factors that affect stigmatizing attitudes toward PWHAs were investigated.
Methods
The population of this study comprised of senior high students in Seoul, Korea. Eight high schools were selected randomly and 1566 adolescents participated in the survey. A total sample of 1548 cases (18 cases were excluded) was used for analysis. A self-administered questionnaire measuring their general and transmission and discriminatory attitudes was used.
Results
The level of HIV/AIDS knowledge among Korean adolescents was low, as indicated by a correct response rate of 54% (7.0 out of 13). The students answered correctly about HIV transmission by kissing at 50.2%, toilets at 59.4%, cup sharing at 57.4%, and daily school life at 60.5%. The level of discriminatory attitudes towards HIV-infected persons was high. Boys reported a higher proportion of sexual experience (7.0% vs. 2.6%, OR=2.89, p < 0.001). Only 39.0% used a condom during their last sexual encounter and more girls (53.3%) than boys (35.3%) reported using a condom.
Conclusions
These findings highlight the need for increasing HIV knowledge, reducing HIV stigma, and providing sex education focusing on safer sex practices.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives