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CLINICIAN SUPPORT MATERIALS

Screening Instrument: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

Your practice may choose to have patients fill out a written screening instrument before they see a clinician. In this Guide, the AUDIT is provided in both English and Spanish for this purpose. It takes only about 5 minutes to complete, has been tested internationally in primary care settings, and has high levels of validity and reliability.13 You may photocopy these pages or download them from www.niaaa.nih.gov/guide.

Scoring the AUDIT

Record the score for each response in the blank box at the end of each line, then total these numbers. The maximum possible total is 40. Total scores of 8 or more for men up to age 60 or 4 or more for women, adolescents, and men over 60 are considered positive screens.14, 15, 16 For patients with totals near the cut-points, clinicians may wish to examine individual responses to questions and clarify them during the clinical examination.

Note: The AUDIT's sensitivity and specificity for detecting heavy drinking and alcohol use disorders varies across different populations. Lowering the cut-points increases sensitivity (the proportion of "true positive" cases) while increasing the number of false positives. Thus, it may be easier to use a cut-point of 4 for all patients, recognizing that more false positives may be identified among men.

Continuing with screening and assessment

After the AUDIT is completed, continue with Step 1, page 4.

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