Background: To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) and its effectiveness as a screening tool for problematic alcohol, tobacco and other psychoactive substance use in groups of low, moderate, and high risk users.
Methods: A test battery including the ASSIST and several standardized screening, assessment, and diagnostic instruments was administered to 485 patients recruited in different primary health-care facilities and specialized addiction treatment units from Health Area 11 in Madrid.
Results: ASSIST cut-off scores show a good sensitivity and specificity for discrimination between substance use and abuse and between abuse and dependence. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by significant correlations between ASSIST scores and scores from the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI-Plus), the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), the Revised Fagerstrom Tolerance Questionnaire (RTQ) and the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS).
Conclusions: Psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the ASSIST indicate that is a valid screening test for identifying substance use disorders in various health-care settings.