Diagnostic efficiency of the AUDIT-C in U.S. veterans with military service since September 11, 2001

Journal Article

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. © 2013.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Crawford, EF; Fulton, JJ; Swinkels, CM; Beckham, JC; Calhoun, PS

Published Date

  • 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 132 / 1-2

Start / End Page

  • 101 - 106

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0376-8716

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.01.012