Response burden, reliability, and validity of the CAGE, Short MAST, and AUDIT alcohol screening measures

Abstract

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.

Preparation of this article was supported in part by Grant AA 07852 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of RAND or the sponsor. Thanks are due to Craig Barela for outstanding secretarial support.