The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): A review of graded severity algorithms and national adaptations

Thomas F. Babor, Katherine Robaina

Abstract


Babor, T., & Robaina, K. (2016). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): A review of graded severity algorithms and national adaptations. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 5(2), 17-24. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v5i2.222

Aims: Since it was first released in 1989, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) has generated a large amount of research to evaluate its psychometric properties. The purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the literature relevant to applications of the AUDIT in screening, brief intervention, and treatment referral programs, and identify national adaptations of the AUDIT to country-specific health, education, and reimbursement needs.

Methods: Methods comprised a search of the world literature published since 2004, combined with review articles published since 1997.


Findings: We identified 431 studies of the AUDIT, including 386 articles, 26 review papers, and 11 book chapters since 2004, with a six-fold increase in the last decade. The factor structure of the AUDIT items remains unclear, but the weight of evidence supports a two-factor model. Despite the translation of the AUDIT into numerous languages, the alcohol consumption questions were rarely adapted to suit cultural or national conditions. Although numerous studies have supported the recommended cutoff thresholds for a possible alcohol use disorder, only three studies evaluated the classification accuracy of the AUDIT’s graded severity system.

Conclusions: Further development of the AUDIT score’s severity zones is needed to guide intervention selection in clinical settings.


Keywords


Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; screening; AUDIT; alcohol use disorder; review; translations

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v5i2.222

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