Problems associated with alcohol abuse are recognised by the World Health Organization as a major health issue, which according to most recent estimations is responsible for 1.4% of the total world burden of morbidity and has been proven to increase mortality risk by 50%. Because of the size and severity of the problem, early detection is very important. This requires easy to use and specific tools. One of these is the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).
This study aims to standardise the questionnaire in a Greek population.
AUDIT was translated and back-translated from its original language by two English-speaking psychiatrists. The tool contains 10 questions. A score ≥ 11 is an indication of serious abuse/dependence. In the study, 218 subjects took part: 128 were males and 90 females. The average age was 40.71 years (± 11.34). From the 218 individuals, 109 (75 male, 34 female) fulfilled the criteria for alcohol dependence according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV), and presented requesting admission; 109 subjects (53 male, 56 female) were healthy controls.
Internal reliability (Cronbach α) was 0.80 for the controls and 0.80 for the alcohol-dependent individuals. Controls had significantly lower average scores (t test P < 0.001) when compared to the alcoholics. The questionnaire's sensitivity for scores >8 was 0.98 and its specificity was 0.94 for the same score. For the alcohol-dependent sample 3% scored as false negatives and from the control group 1.8% scored false positives. In the alcohol-dependent sample there was no difference between males and females in their average scores (t test P > 0.05).
The Greek version of AUDIT has increased internal reliability and validity. It detects 97% of the alcohol-dependent individuals and has a high sensitivity and specificity. AUDIT is easy to use, quick and reliable and can be very useful in detection alcohol problems in sensitive populations.