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BMC Public Health

, 13:301

Health behavior, health promotion and society


BackgroundThe 10-item Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test AUDIT-10 is commonly used to monitor harmful alcohol consumption among high-risk groups, including young people. However, time and space constraints have generated interest for shortened versions. Commonly used variations are the AUDIT-C three questions and the Fast Alcohol Screening Test FAST four questions, but their utility in screening young people in non-clinical settings has received little attention.

MethodsWe examined the performance of established and novel shortened versions of the AUDIT in relation to the full AUDIT-10 in a community-based survey of young people 16–29 years attending a music festival in Melbourne, Australia January 2010.

Among those reporting drinking alcohol in the previous 12 months, the following statistics were systematically assessed for all possible combinations of three or four AUDIT items and established AUDIT variations: Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency, variance explained R and Pearson’s correlation coefficient concurrent validity. For our purposes, novel shortened AUDIT versions considered were required to represent all three AUDIT domains and include item 9 on alcohol-related injury.

ResultsWe recruited 640 participants 68% female reporting drinking in the previous 12 months. Median AUDIT-10 score was 10 in males and 9 in females, and 127 20% were classified as having at least high-level alcohol problems according to WHO classification.

The FAST scored consistently high across statistical measures; it explained 85.6% of variance in AUDIT-10, correlation with AUDIT-10 was 0.92, and Cronbach’s alpha was 0.66. A number of novel four-item AUDIT variations scored similarly high. Comparatively, the AUDIT-C scored substantially lower on all measures except internal consistency.

ConclusionsNumerous abbreviated variations of the AUDIT may be a suitable alternative to the AUDIT-10 for classifying high-level alcohol problems in a community-based population of young Australians. Four-item AUDIT variations scored more consistently high across all evaluated statistics compared to three-item combinations. Novel AUDIT versions may be more effective than many established shortened versions as an alternative screening tool to the AUDIT-10 to measure hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption in this population.

KeywordsAlcohol screening Alcohol use disorders identification test AUDIT Alcohol consumption Young adult Adolescents  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Anna L Bowring - Maelenn Gouillou - Margaret Hellard - Paul Dietze



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