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Addict Behav. 2009 Apr;34(4):337-42. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.11.010. Epub 2008 Nov 24.

Test-retest reliability of an online measure of past week alcohol consumption (the TOT-AL), and comparison with face-to-face interview.

Author information

  • 1E-health Unit, Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, Highgate Hill, London N19 5LW, United Kingdom. z.khadjesari@pcps.ucl.ac.uk



This paper reports on the development of a new online measure of beverage-specific past week alcohol consumption (the TOT-AL), its test-retest reliability, and comparability with the face-to-face approach of ascertaining alcohol intake.


University students participating in the reliability study completed the TOT-AL twice on the same day with at least 3 h apart. Students in the comparability study attended a face-to-face interview and completed the TOT-AL on the same day, in a randomised order, at least 3 h apart.


There was a strong correlation between the repeated measurements of the TOT-AL (r=0.99; 95% CI: 0.98, 0.99) and between the units calculated by the TOT-AL and the face-to face interview (r=0.97; 95% CI: 0.95, 0.99). A high level of agreement between measurements was also observed in a Bland-Altman analysis.


The TOT-AL is a reliable, time efficient means of ascertaining alcohol intake, equivalent to that obtained face-to-face. These findings support the use of this approach to online alcohol assessment in populations with access to the Internet.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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