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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2005 Nov 1;80(2):201-7.

Screening for alcohol problems in two emergency service samples in Poland: comparison of the RAPS4, CAGE and AUDIT.

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1
Public Health Institute, Alcohol Research Group, 2000 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709, USA. ccherpitel@arg.org

Abstract

Prior research on alcohol-related problems among emergency service patients in Poland found substantial alcohol involvement on the part of injured males, suggesting emergency services may be a productive venue for identifying patients who could benefit from a brief intervention or referral for treatment. Performance of the RAPS4, CAGE and AUDIT against ICD-10 and DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence and for alcohol abuse/harmful drinking was compared in probability samples of emergency service patients from two regions of Poland. Sensitivity of the RAPS4 and AUDIT was significantly better than the CAGE for alcohol dependence among males in Warsaw, but specificity was poorer. Among females, although numbers were small, sensitivity for alcohol abuse/harmful drinking and for alcohol dependence or abuse/harmful drinking was significantly better for the RAPS4-QF than for the CAGE or AUDIT at a cut point of 8 across both sites. Performance of the AUDIT at a cut point of 3 was similar to the RAPS4-QF for females. Among males, sensitivity was higher but specificity considerably lower for the RAPS4-QF compared to the CAGE at a cut point of 1 or for the AUDIT at a cut point of 8. Alternate cut points for the AUDIT optimized performance. Findings suggest some regional and gender differences in performance of screening instruments in these Polish samples, but no instrument or cut point is optimal in identifying those with alcohol use disorders. Additional cross-cultural research is needed to evaluate the performance of instruments, especially among females with alcohol use disorders.

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