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Addiction. 1994 Oct;89(10):1287-92.

Assessment of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome--validity and reliability of the translated and modified Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol scale (CIWA-A).

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


The alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a common phenomenon in psychiatric hospital care. Not only treatment strategies, but also the evaluation of the syndrome, are discussed controversially. The most widely used instrument is the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment-Alcohol (CIWA-A) and the succeeding CIWA-Ar. We modified the CIWA-A and translated it into German. Validity and reliability of the modified and translated scale were analysed by several psychological tests as well as different somatic measures in 31 patients. The German version appears to be a valid and reliable instrument for the assessment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome useful for clinical routine as well as treatment trials.

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