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. 2014 Aug 1;141:153-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.04.029. Epub 2014 May 20.

Data Compatibility in the Addiction Sciences: An Examination of Measure Commonality

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Data Compatibility in the Addiction Sciences: An Examination of Measure Commonality

Kevin P Conway et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. .
Free PMC article


The need for comprehensive analysis to compare and combine data across multiple studies in order to validate and extend results is widely recognized. This paper aims to assess the extent of data compatibility in the substance abuse and addiction (SAA) sciences through an examination of measure commonality, defined as the use of similar measures, across grants funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Data were extracted from applications of funded, active grants involving human-subjects research in four scientific areas (epidemiology, prevention, services, and treatment) and six frequently assessed scientific domains. A total of 548 distinct measures were cited across 141 randomly sampled applications. Commonality, as assessed by density (range of 0-1) of shared measurement, was examined. Results showed that commonality was low and varied by domain/area. Commonality was most prominent for (1) diagnostic interviews (structured and semi-structured) for substance use disorders and psychopathology (density of 0.88), followed by (2) scales to assess dimensions of substance use problems and disorders (0.70), (3) scales to assess dimensions of affect and psychopathology (0.69), (4) measures of substance use quantity and frequency (0.62), (5) measures of personality traits (0.40), and (6) assessments of cognitive/neurologic ability (0.22). The areas of prevention (density of 0.41) and treatment (0.42) had greater commonality than epidemiology (0.36) and services (0.32). To address the lack of measure commonality, NIDA and its scientific partners recommend and provide common measures for SAA researchers within the PhenX Toolkit.

Keywords: Data harmonization; Gene–environment interactions; Measure commonality; Standard measures; Substance use, abuse, and addiction.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest

No conflict declared.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Top 10 Most Common Measures in Six Frequently Assessed Domains Diagnostic Measures: SCID = Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV; CIDI = University of Michigan Composite International Diagnostic; DIS = Diagnostic Interview Schedule – based instruments; MINI = Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview; AUDADIS = Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule; ADI = Adolescent Diagnostic Interview; KSADS = Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia; ADI-Parent = Adolescent Diagnostic Interview-Parent; PRISM = Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders; SIDP-IV Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality. Substance Use Disorder Scales: AUDIT = Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; FTND = Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence; ADS = Alcohol Dependence Scale; DRINC = Drinker Inventory of Consequences; RAPI = Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index; MWS = Minnesota Withdrawal Scale; OCDS = Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale; AUQ = Alcohol Urge Questionnaire; CIWA-Ar = Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol – Revised; NDSS = Nicotine Dependence Syndrome Scale. Psychopathology Scales: BSI = Brief Symptom Inventory; CES-D = Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; BDI = Beck Depression Inventory; YSR = Youth Self-Report of the Child Behavior Checklist; CBCL = Child Behavior Checklist; GAIN = Global Appraisal of Individual Needs; PANAS = Positive and Negative Affect Schedule; POMS = Profile of Mood States; PEI = Personal Experiences Inventory; ASR = Adult Self-Report, Adult behavior checklist. Substance Use Quantity and Frequency Measures: General Q and F = General Quantity and Frequency Questions; Form 90 = Form 90 from Project Match; MTF = Monitoring the Future Quantity and Frequency of Substance Use Questions; DDQ = Daily Drinking Questionnaire; NSDUH = National Survey of Drug Use and Health Quantity and Frequency of Substance Use Questions; NHIS = National Health Interview Survey; DUQ = Drug Use Questionnaire; SUQ = Substance Use Questionnaire; ADAC = Adapted Daily Alcohol consumption; ADAS = American Drug and Alcohol Survey Personality Measures: BFI = Big Five Inventory; MPQ = Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire; SSS = Sensation Seeking Scale (Zuckerman); BSSS = Brief Sensation Seeking Scale; EIS = Eysenck Impulsivity Scale; NEO FFI = NEO Five Factor Inventory; EATQ = Early Adolescent Temperament Questionnaire – Revised; AIS = Avoidance and Inflexibility Scale; Assertiveness = Assertiveness (Gambrill and Richey); BASC = Behavioral Assessment System for Children. Cognitive-Neurologic Measures: TMT = Trail Making Test A and B; ANT = Attention Network Task; DBS = Decisional Balance Scale; Decision Making = Decision making (5-item scale developed by Botvin, Baker); SRE = Self-Ratings of the Effects of Alcohol; SST = Stop-signal task; Stroop = Stroop Color and Word Test; WAIS-III = Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III Comprehension Subscale; WISC subtests = Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children subtests; WMS = Wechsler Memory Scale.

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