Diagnostic efficiency of the AUDIT-C in U.S. veterans with military service since September 11, 2001.
BACKGROUND: Alcohol screening with the 3-item alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT-C) has been implemented throughout the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. Validation of the AUDIT-C, however, has been conducted with samples of primarily older veterans. This study examined the diagnostic efficiency of the AUDIT-C in a younger cohort of veterans who served during Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). METHODS: Veteran participants (N=1775) completed the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) and underwent the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV-TR for Axis I disorders (SCID) in research settings within four VA medical Centers. Areas under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs) measured the effiency of the full AUDIT and AUDIT-C in identifying SCID-based diagnoses of past year alcohol abuse or dependence. RESULTS: Both measures performed well in detecting alcohol use disorders. In the full sample, the AUDIT had a better AUC (.908; .881-.935) than the AUDIT-C (.859; .826-.893; p<.0001). It is notable that this same result was found among men but not women, perhaps due to reduced power. Diagnostic efficiency statistics for the AUDIT and AUDIT-C were consistent with results from older veteran samples. The diagnostic efficiency of both measures did not vary with race or age. CONCLUSIONS: Both the AUDIT and AUDIT-C appear to be valid instruments for identifying alcohol abuse or dependence among the most recent cohort of U.S. veterans with service during OEF/OIF within research settings.
Crawford, EF; Fulton, JJ; Swinkels, CM; Beckham, JC; VA Mid-Atlantic MIRECC OEF/OIF Registry Workgroup, ; Calhoun, PS
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