The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): A Review of Recent Research

Authors

  • Duane F. Reinert,

    Corresponding author
    1. From Counseling Services, Conception Seminary College (DFR), Conception, Missouri; and Aegis Medical Systems, Inc. (JPA), Canoga Park, California.
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  • John P. Allen

    1. From Counseling Services, Conception Seminary College (DFR), Conception, Missouri; and Aegis Medical Systems, Inc. (JPA), Canoga Park, California.
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Duane F. Reinert, PhD, Counseling Services, P.O. Box 502, Conception Seminary College, Conception, MO 64433-0502; Fax: 785-943-2214; E-mail: dreinert@conception.edu.

Abstract

Background: Efficient, inexpensive screening for early stage alcohol problems is important in health care settings. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) has been studied extensively to establish its value in this regard.

Methods: A literature search that used EtOH as a database was conducted to identify studies published on the AUDIT through September 2001. Keywords used for the search were “Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test” and “AUDIT.” All studies reporting psychometric properties of the measure were reviewed with particular attention being given to the period 1996 and later. A small number of additional references were located by noting their citation in other studies reviewed.

Results: Although more research is needed on non-English versions to establish their psychometric properties, at least in its English edition, the AUDIT demonstrates sensitivities and specificities comparable, and typically superior, to those of other self-report screening measures. Test-retest reliability and internal consistency are also quite favorable. For males, the AUDIT-C, a shortened version of the AUDIT, appears approximately equal in validity to the full scale.

Conclusions: Recent research continues to support use of the AUDIT as a means of screening for alcohol use disorders in health care settings in the United States.

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