Response Burden, Reliability, and Validity of the CAGE, Short MAST, and AUDIT Alcohol Screening Measures

Published in: Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, v. 27, no. 2, June 1995, p. 277-280

Posted on RAND.org on June 01, 1995

by Ron D. Hays, Jon Merz, Ronald Nicholas

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We administered the CAGE, the Short MAST, and the AUDIT to 832 clients at drinking driver treatment programs in Southern California. Correlations among the alcohol screening measures ranged from 0.62 (CAGE and AUDIT) to 0.70 (CAGE and Short MAST). As expected, response time for the CAGE was quicker than for the Short MAST and the AUDIT, but the internal consistency reliability of the CAGE was the lowest and the standard error of measurement largest. Moreover, greater support was found for the relative validity of the Short MAST and AUDIT than the CAGE. The CAGE provides a substantial amount of information quickly, but more reliable and valid information can be obtained with the short MAST or AUDIT measures, which require an additional 1-2 min to administer.

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