Objectives To explore the perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and experiences related to Vietnamese medical students’ binge drinking. Design A qualitative study comprising semi-structured focus groups/interviews with medical students and semi-structured interviews with key informants. Thematic analysis of data. Setting Participants were a convenience sample of usual volunteers from a medical university in Viet Nam. Participants 19 medical students from year 1 to 6 and 4 key informants agreed to participate in the study. Results The study found participants believe medical students drink less than other students and are not binge drinkers yet they experience and/or witness many binge drinking occasions among medical students. Participants consider alcohol use as culturally acceptable in Vietnamese society and a way for medical students to create and improve relationships with their friends, teachers, or work colleagues. Group affiliation and peer pressure to drink excessive alcohol are identified among medical students, especially male students. Conclusion The culture of drinking behaviour was explored among medical students in Viet Nam. This study reveals a dichotomy between the belief of not being binge drinkers and the experience of many binge drinking occasions among medical students. This tension suggests future research about binge drinking behaviour of Vietnamese medical students is required.
Open access, Qualitative research