Background: Excessive drinking is a major problem in Western countries. AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) is a 10-item questionnaire developed as a transcultural screening tool to detect excessive alcohol consumption and dependence in primary health care settings.
Objectives: The aim of the study is to validate a French version of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
Methods: We conducted a validation cross-sectional study in three French-speaking areas (Paris, Geneva and Lausanne). We examined psychometric properties of AUDIT as its internal consistency, and its capacity to correctly diagnose alcohol abuse or dependence as defined by DSM-IV and to detect hazardous drinking (defined as alcohol intake >30 g pure ethanol per day for men and >20 g of pure ethanol per day for women). We calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and Receiver Operator Characteristic curves. Finally, we compared the ability of AUDIT to accurately detect "alcohol abuse/dependence" with that of CAGE and MAST.
Results: 1207 patients presenting to outpatient clinics (Switzerland, n = 580) or general practitioners' (France, n = 627) successively completed CAGE, MAST and AUDIT self-administered questionnaires, and were independently interviewed by a trained addiction specialist. AUDIT showed a good capacity to discriminate dependent patients (with AUDIT > or =13 for males, sensitivity 70.1%, specificity 95.2%, PPV 85.7%, NPV 94.7% and for females sensitivity 94.7%, specificity 98.2%, PPV 100%, NPV 99.8%); and hazardous drinkers (with AUDIT > or =7, for males sensitivity 83.5%, specificity 79.9%, PPV 55.0%, NPV 82.7% and with AUDIT > or =6 for females, sensitivity 81.2%, specificity 93.7%, PPV 64.0%, NPV 72.0%). AUDIT gives better results than MAST and CAGE for detecting "Alcohol abuse/dependence" as showed on the comparative ROC curves.
Conclusions: The AUDIT questionnaire remains a good screening instrument for French-speaking primary care.