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Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

The AUDIT was developed by the World Health Organization to identify persons whose alcohol consumption has become hazardous or harmful to their health. AUDIT is a 10-item screening questionnaire with 3 questions on the amount and frequency of drinking, 3 questions on alcohol dependence, and 4 on problems caused by alcohol.

Target Population


Populations appropriate for a screening program using AUDIT include primary care, emergency room, surgery, and psychiatric patients; DWI offenders, criminals in court, jail, and prison; enlisted men in the Armed Forces; and workers encountered in employee assistance programs and industrial settings.

Administrative Issues

10 items, 3 subscales
Pencil and paper self-administered or interview
Time required: 2 minutes
Administered by health professional or paraprofessional
Training required for administration. A detailed user's manual and a videotape training module explain proper administration procedures, scoring, interpretation, and clinical management. AUDIT has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian, and Romanian.


Time required: I minute
Scored by hand
No computerized scoring or interpretation available
Norms available
Normed on heavy drinkers and alcoholics
An easy-to-use brochure has been designed to guide the interviewer and to assist with scoring and interpretation.


Reliability studies done:
  • Test-retest
  • Internal consistency
Measures of validity derived:
  • Content
  • Criterion (predictive, concurrent, "postdictive")
  • Construct

Clinical Utility of Instrument

The AUDIT screening procedure is linked to a decision process that includes brief intervention with heavy drinkers or referral to specialized treatment for patients who show evidence of more serious alcohol involvement. Another feature of the AUDIT is the optional Clinical Screening Procedure. This consists of two questions about traumatic injury, five items on clinical examination, and a blood test, the serum GGT. The Clinical Screening Procedure does not refer directly to problems with alcohol and may be particularly relevant for defensive patients in situations where alcohol-specific questions cannot be asked with confidence.

Research Applicability

AUDIT is currently being used in a variety of research projects and epidemiological studies. Research guidelines incorporated into the AUDIT manual suggest further research using this instrument.

Copyright, Cost, and Source Issues

Test and manual are free; training module costs $75 Source:

Programme on Substance Abuse
World Health Organization
1211 Geneva, Switzerland


Thomas F. Babor
Alcohol Research Center
University of Connecticut
Farmington, CT 06030-1410 USA.

Source Reference
Babor, T.F.; de la Fuente, J.R.; Saunders, J.; and Grant, M. AUDIT. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Guidelines for use in primary health care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1992.

Saunders, J.B.; Aasland, O.G.; Babor, T.F.; de la Puente, J.R.; and Grant, M. Development of the Alcohol Use Disorders Screening Test (AUDIT). WHO collaborative project on early detection of persons with harmful alcohol consumption. II. Addiction 88:791-804, 1993.

Supporting References
McRee, B.; Babor, T.F.; and Church, O. Instructor's Manual for Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention. Project NEADA. The University of Connecticut, School of Nursing, 1991.

Fleming, M.F.; Barry, K.L.; and MacDonald, R. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in a college sample. Int J Addict 26(11):1173-1185, 1991.

Claussen, B., and Aasland, O.G. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in a routine health examination of long-term unemployed. Addiction 88:363-368, 1993.
Updated: October 2000