Protocol - Screening and Severity of Substance Use Problems - Adults - Alcohol - Past 12 Months

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Protocol Name from Source:

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)


Publicly available


The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) includes 10 screening questions about the use of alcohol and alcohol-related consequences during the past year. The questions address alcohol frequency, quantity, alcohol dependence symptoms, and alcohol-related problems.


Assessment of Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders

Personnel and Training Required

The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don’t know" response is provided.

Equipment Needs



Requirement CategoryRequired
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individualNo
Major equipmentNo
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collectionNo
Specialized trainingNo

Mode of Administration


Life Stage:

Adult, Senior

Specific Instructions:

Although this instrument can be administered via interview, the Substance Abuse and Addiction (SAA) Working Group (WG) recommends that this instrument be self-administered.

Questions 2 and 3 in the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) assume that a standard drink equivalent is 10 grams of alcohol. The number of drinks in the response categories may need to be adjusted, depending on the locale’s common serving sizes and alcohol content. Babor et al. (2001) provided guidance on calculating standard drink sizes and additional information about administration, scoring, and interpretation of the AUDIT.

The SAA WG acknowledges that the following questions may gather sensitive information relating to the use of substances and/or illegal conduct. If the information is released, it might be damaging to an individual’s employability, lead to social stigmatization, or lead to other consequences.

Most researchers assure confidentiality as part of their informed consent process, as required by their institutional review boards. Further assurance of confidentiality may be obtained by applying to National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a Certificate of Confidentiality, which helps researchers protect the privacy of human research participants. The procedures for the Certificate of Confidentiality can be found at the Grants Policy website of the NIH (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/coc/index.htm).

Research Domain Information

Release Date:

November 21, 2016


Instruments used separately to screen for alcohol and other drug problems and to assess the severity of these problems.


The purpose of this measure is to screen for alcohol-related and other drug-related problems (use) and to assess the severity of these problems by asking the respondent questions about use, withdrawal, and behaviors associated with substance use. This measure is not intended for abuse and dependence diagnoses based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Selection Rationale

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a brief screening instrument that has been used in several countries in a variety of settings. The AUDIT has high internal consistency and good test-retest reliability (r = 0.86). The AUDIT is often used in health care settings to screen for alcohol use and related problems and is associated with favorable psychometric properties in adolescent and adult populations.




Common Data Elements (CDE)Alcohol use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) Assessment Description Text3332392CDE Browser

Process and Review

The [link[phenx.org/node/101|Expert Review Panel #3]] (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.

Guidance from ERP 3 includes:

• No significant changes to measure

Back-compatible: NA no changes to Data Dictionary


Babor, T. F., de la Fuente, J. R., Saunders, J., & Grant, M. (1989). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for use in primary health care (WHO/MNH/DAT 89.4). Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

Babor, T. F., Higgins-Biddle, J. C., Saunders, J. B., Monteiro, M. G., & World Health Organization. (2001). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for use in primary care (2nd ed.; WHO/MSD/MSB/01.6a). http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2001/WHO_MSD_MSB_01.6a.pdf

The AUDIT, which is under copyright, may be obtained through:

Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence World Health Organization CH-1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland

General References

Conigrave, K. M., Saunders, J. B., & Reznik, R.B. (1995). Predictive capacity of the AUDIT questionnaire for alcohol-related harm. Addiction, 90(11), 1479-1485.

Fleming, M. F., Barry, K. L., & MacDonald, R. (1991). The alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) in a college sample. International Journal of the Addictions, 26(11), 1173-1185.

Hays, R. D., Merz, J. F., & Nicholas, R. (1995). Response burden, reliability, and validity of the CAGE, Short MAST, and AUDIT alcohol screening measures. Behavioral Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 27(2), 277-280.

Piccinelli, M., Tessari, E., Bortolomasi, M., Piasere, O., Semenzin, M., Garzotto, N., & Tansella, M. (1997). Efficacy of the alcohol use disorders identification test as a screening tool for hazardous alcohol intake and related disorders in primary care: a validity study. British Medical Journal, 314(8), 420-424.

Rigmaiden, R. S., Pistorello, J., Johnson, J., Mar, D., & Veach, T. L. (1995). Addiction medicine in ambulatory care: Prevalence patterns in internal medicine. Substance Abuse, 16(1), 49-57.

Volk, R. J., Steinbauer, J. R., Cantor, S. B., & Holzer, C. E. (1997). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) as a screen for at-risk drinking in primary care patients of different racial/ethnic backgrounds. Addiction, 92(2), 197-206.

Protocol ID:



Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX510201_How_Often_DrinkPX510201010000How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?4Variable Mapping
PX510201_How_Many_Drinks_When_DrinkingPX510201020000How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?4N/A
PX510201_How_Often_Have_SixOrMore_DrinksPX510201030000How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?4N/A
PX510201_How_Often_Cannot_Stop_DrinkingPX510201040000How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?4N/A
PX510201_Failed_Expectations_Because_Of_DrinkingPX510201050000How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?4N/A
PX510201_How_Often_Needed_Morning_DrinkPX510201060000How often during the last year have you needed a first drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session?4N/A
PX510201_How_Often_Guilty_After_DrinkingPX510201070000How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?4Variable Mapping
PX510201_How_Often_Blackout_DrinkingPX510201080000How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?4Variable Mapping
PX510201_Injured_Result_Of_DrinkingPX510201090000Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?4N/A
PX510201_Others_Concerned_About_Your_DrinkingPX510201100000Has a relative or friend or a doctor or another health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down?4Variable Mapping