Occupational medical program alcohol screening. Utility of the CAGE and BMAST

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2000 Jul;19(1):51-7. doi: 10.1016/s0740-5472(99)00099-9.


Alcohol consumption is a primary or secondary factor in many work-related accidents, suicides, homicides, violent crimes, and motor vehicle accidents. The absentee rate in alcoholics is 3.8 to 8. 3 times greater than that for nonalcoholic workers. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of two interview questionnaires-the Brief Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (BMAST) and the CAGE (cut down, annoyed by criticism, guilty about drinking, and eye-opener drinks). The validity of the BMAST and the CAGE as screening tools for alcohol problems has been verified in a number of nonworkplace settings. If they prove to be as effective for screening workers in an occupational medical setting, follow-up definitive diagnoses could result in earlier detection of alcohol problems and allow prompt intervention. Positive outcomes could include a safer workplace, less absenteeism, improved worker productivity, and a reduction in personal and family problems caused by drinking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sex Factors
  • Tennessee