Protocol - Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems - Adults - Alcohol - Past 12 Months

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The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) includes 10 screening questions about the use of alcohol and alcohol-related consequences during the past year. The questions address alcohol frequency, quantity, alcohol dependence symptoms, and alcohol-related problems.

Specific Instructions

Although this instrument can be administered via interview, the Substance Abuse and Addiction (SAA) Working Group (WG) recommends that this instrument be self-administered.

Questions 2 and 3 in the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) assume that a standard drink equivalent is 10 grams of alcohol. The number of drinks in the response categories may need to be adjusted, depending on the locale’s common serving sizes and alcohol content. Babor et al. (2001) provided guidance on calculating standard drink sizes and additional information about administration, scoring, and interpretation of the AUDIT.

The SAA WG acknowledges that the following questions may gather sensitive information relating to the use of substances and/or illegal conduct. If the information is released, it might be damaging to an individual’s employability, lead to social stigmatization, or lead to other consequences.

Most researchers assure confidentiality as part of their informed consent process, as required by their institutional review boards. Further assurance of confidentiality may be obtained by applying to National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a Certificate of Confidentiality, which helps researchers protect the privacy of human research participants. The procedures for the Certificate of Confidentiality can be found at the Grants Policy website of the NIH (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/coc/index.htm).


Assessment of Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders



Personnel and Training Required

The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.

Equipment Needs


Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Self-administered or interviewer-administered questionnaire


Adult, Senior


Adults aged 18 years and older

Selection Rationale

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a brief screening instrument that has been used in several countries in a variety of settings. The AUDIT has high internal consistency and good test-retest reliability (r = 0.86). The AUDIT is often used in health care settings to screen for alcohol use and related problems and is associated with favorable psychometric properties in adolescent and adult populations.



caDSR Common Data Elements (CDE) Alcohol use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) Assessment Description Text 3332392 CDE Browser
Human Phenotype Ontology Addictive behavior HP:0030858 HPO
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel #3 (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.

Guidance from ERP 3 includes:

• No significant changes to measure

Back-compatible: NA no changes to Data Dictionary

Protocol Name from Source

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)


Babor, T. F., de la Fuente, J. R., Saunders, J., & Grant, M. (1989). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for use in primary health care (WHO/MNH/DAT 89.4). Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Babor, T. F., Higgins-Biddle, J. C., Saunders, J. B., Monteiro, M. G., & World Health Organization. (2001). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for use in primary care (2nd ed.; WHO/MSD/MSB/01.6a). http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2001/WHO_MSD_MSB_01.6a.pdf

The AUDIT, which is under copyright, may be obtained through:

Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence World Health Organization CH-1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland

General References

Conigrave, K. M., Saunders, J. B., & Reznik, R.B. (1995). Predictive capacity of the AUDIT questionnaire for alcohol-related harm. Addiction, 90(11), 1479-1485.

Fleming, M. F., Barry, K. L., & MacDonald, R. (1991). The alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) in a college sample. International Journal of the Addictions, 26(11), 1173-1185.

Hays, R. D., Merz, J. F., & Nicholas, R. (1995). Response burden, reliability, and validity of the CAGE, Short MAST, and AUDIT alcohol screening measures. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 27(2), 277-280.

Piccinelli, M., Tessari, E., Bortolomasi, M., Piasere, O., Semenzin, M., Garzotto, N., & Tansella, M. (1997). Efficacy of the alcohol use disorders identification test as a screening tool for hazardous alcohol intake and related disorders in primary care: a validity study. British Medical Journal, 314(8), 420-424.

Rigmaiden, R. S., Pistorello, J., Johnson, J., Mar, D., & Veach, T. L. (1995). Addiction medicine in ambulatory care: Prevalence patterns in internal medicine. Substance Abuse, 16(1), 49-57.

Volk, R. J., Steinbauer, J. R., Cantor, S. B., & Holzer, C. E. (1997). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) as a screen for at-risk drinking in primary care patients of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Addiction, 92(2), 197-206.

Protocol ID


Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
PX510201050000 How often during the last year have you more
failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking? show less
PX510201020000 How many drinks containing alcohol do you more
have on a typical day when you are drinking? show less
PX510201080000 How often during the last year have you been more
unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking? show less
PX510201040000 How often during the last year have you more
found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started? show less
PX510201010000 How often do you have a drink containing alcohol? N/A
PX510201070000 How often during the last year have you had more
a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking? show less
PX510201030000 How often do you have six or more drinks on more
one occasion? show less
PX510201060000 How often during the last year have you more
needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session? show less
PX510201090000 Have you or someone else been injured as a more
result of your drinking? show less
PX510201100000 Has a relative or friend or a doctor or more
another health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down? show less
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Measure Name

Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems

Release Date

February 24, 2012


Instruments used separately to screen for alcohol and other drug problems and to assess the severity of these problems.


The purpose of this measure is to screen for alcohol-related and other drug-related problems (use) and to assess the severity of these problems by asking the respondent questions about use, withdrawal, and behaviors associated with substance use. This measure is not intended for abuse and dependence diagnoses based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).


Adolescent, Adult, Alcohol, Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Arrests, AUDIT, Brief Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test, Brief MAST, DAST-10, Drug Abuse Screening Test, Drugs, Other Drugs, SAA, Screening, Simple Screening Instrument for Alcohol and Other Drugs, SSI-AOD, Substance Abuse, Assessment of Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders

Measure Protocols
Protocol ID Protocol Name
510201 Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems - Adults - Alcohol - Past 12 Months
510202 Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems - Adolescents
510203 Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems - Adults - Alcohol - Lifetime
510204 Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems - Adults - Drugs

There are no publications listed for this protocol.