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Determining a diagnostic cut-off on the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS) for cocaine dependence

Authors


Sharlene Kaye National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia

ABSTRACT

Aim The study aimed to assess the efficacy of the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS) as a diagnostic measure of cocaine dependence and determine the cut-off score that best discriminates between the presence and absence of a DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence.

Design Cross-sectional survey.

Setting Sydney, Australia.

Participants One hundred and forty-two cocaine users.

Measurements The diagnostic performance of the SDS was measured via ROC analysis against DSM-IV diagnoses of cocaine dependence, as measured by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).

Findings ROC analysis revealed the SDS to be a test of high diagnostic utility for the measurement of cocaine dependence. The cut-off point on the SDS at which there is optimal discrimination between the presence and absence of a DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence was found to be 3 (i.e. a score of 3 or more).

Conclusions The study statistically validated the utility of the SDS as a diagnostic measure of cocaine dependence and has determined an appropriate cut-off point. The SDS is recommended as a brief screening instrument for cocaine dependence that can be used in addition to more comprehensive measures, such as the CIDI.

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