The AUDIT questionnaire: choosing a cut-off score. Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test

Addiction. 1995 Oct;90(10):1349-56. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.1995.901013496.x.

Abstract

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a 10-item questionnaire designed by the World Health Organization to screen for hazardous alcohol intake in primary health care settings. In this longitudinal study we examined its performance in predicting alcohol-related harm over the full range of its scores using receiver operating characteristic analyses. Three hundred and thirty ambulatory care patients were interviewed using a detailed assessment schedule which included the AUDIT questions. After 2-3 years, subjects were reviewed and their experience of alcohol-related medical and social harm assessed by interview and perusal of medical records. AUDIT was a good predictor of both alcohol-related social and medical problems. Cut-off points of 7-8 maximized discrimination in the prediction of trauma and hypertension. Higher cut-offs (12 and 22) provided better discrimination in the prediction of alcohol-related social problems and of liver disease or gastrointestinal bleeding, but high specificity was offset by reduced sensitivity. We conclude that the recommended cut-off score of eight is a reasonable approximation to the optimal for a variety of endpoints.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / complications
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • World Health Organization