Background: One important task in identifying subjects with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in the general medical practice setting is the development of effective screening instruments. Sensitivity of screening questionnaires might differ according to the introductory items. This study compares two versions of the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) with varied item sequence randomly applied to patients derived from a sample of general practitioners (GP) patients. Methods: Participants were recruited from general practices in two northern German cities; they received two different versions of the AUDIT, one group receiving the original version starting with three items addressing frequency and quantity of alcohol use (AUDIT1), and a second group receiving a version in which these items were put at the end of the questionnaire (AUDIT2). In total, 10.803 screenings were conducted (refusal rate: 5%). Alcohol use disorders were diagnosed using the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI). Results: Logistic regression analysis revealed that AUDIT1 subjects had higher scores in the consumption items of the AUDIT, whereas AUDIT2 subjects scored higher on items focussing on symptoms of alcohol dependence or abuse. Conclusion: The sequence upon which items of the AUDIT are presented influences the report of drinking patterns and symptoms of alcohol use disorders in GP patients.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)