Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Women with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) have a higher risk of chronic illness and a mortality rate that is 50 to 100% greater than men’s (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2008). Lifestyle changes in the recovery from AUD include adopting behaviors that foster health and identifying women’s barriers to health promotion behavior is important to fostering a healthy lifestyle. The purpose of this study was to explore perceived barriers to health promotion behavior of women in early recovery from AUD. Participants were women (N = 50) who attended 12-step recovery meetings for alcoholism, of which: 86% were 26 to 57 years old; 72% had greater than a ten year history of consumption; 80% had less than six months of sobriety; 50% had relapsed three or more times. Results indicated some women perceived certain barriers to be very troublesome but generally barriers were only a moderate challenge. Greatest perceived barriers cited were financial aspects, fatigue, time management issues, selfefficacy concerns, and communication difficulties. Implications for practice include conducting research on the nature of the most concerning barriers and the impact that severity of disease, culture, ethnicity, or demographics has on these barriers. Increasing awareness of women’s barriers, lobbying and supporting policies and systems processes that reduce barriers and support access to preventative services, early intervention, gender specific programs, and addressing patient-specific barriers will improve outcomes. Utilizing a comprehensive approach will have the greatest impact on the health promotion behaviors of individuals and the population health status of women with AUD.