• Alcohol;
  • drug abuse;
  • follow-up study;
  • outcome measure.

Abstract An ordinal scale to measure severity of alcohol problems in a follow-up study was constructed. The measure refers to the preceding 6 months and is based on reports of amount of alcohol consumed, drinking pattern, signs of alcohol dependence and time sober. The measure was tested on 300 patients reinvestigated about 2H years after discharge for inpatient treatment for alcoholism. Thirteen percent of the patients had no alcohol problems and 22 % had severe alcohol problems. Rather more than one quarter of the group (27 %) were classified as positive intermediates and 38 % as negative intermediates. These results were compared with other data and information obtained from official records. It was concluded that the measure had satisfactory validity.