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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Feb;225(4):803-10. doi: 10.1007/s00213-012-2866-y. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Measurement of alcohol hangover severity: development of the Alcohol Hangover Severity Scale (AHSS).

Author information

1
Division of Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aims to develop a new alcohol hangover symptom severity scale and compare its effectiveness with the Hangover Symptoms Scale (HSS), the Acute Hangover Scale (AHS), and a one-item hangover score.

METHODS:

Data from 1,410 Dutch students (Penning et al., Alcohol Alcohol 47:248-252, 2012) on the severity of 47 hangover symptoms were re-analyzed to develop the Alcohol Hangover Severity Scale (AHSS). The psychometric properties of the AHSS were compared with those of the HSS and the AHS. A survey among 1,000 students compared the AHSS and HSS with a one-item hangover severity score. The AHSS was further tested in a naturalistic hangover experiment.

RESULTS:

The 12 items of the AHSS were fatigue, clumsiness, dizziness, apathy, sweating, shivering, nausea, heart pounding, confusion, stomach pain, concentration problems, and thirst. The Penning et al. (Alcohol Alcohol 47:248-252, 2012) data revealed that the predictive validity of the AHSS (92.4 %) for the overall hangover score was significantly higher than that of the HSS (81.5 %) and the AHS (71.0 %). The survey data (N = 966) showed that scores on the AHSS (39.7 %) and the HSS (47.6 %) only moderately predicted the one-item hangover score. A total of 119 subjects completed the naturalistic study. On average, they consumed 9.7 alcoholic consumptions, yielding a mean estimated blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16 %. During hangover, the AHSS score correlated significantly with the number of alcoholic consumptions (r = 0.38, p < 0.0001) and estimated BAC (r = 0.40, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The AHS, HSS, and AHSS all seem appropriate for application in hangover research. The use of a one-item hangover scale is not recommended.

PMID:
23007602
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-012-2866-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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