An evaluative instrument or procedure, either biological or psychological, whose main purpose is to discover, within a given population, as many individuals as possible who currently have a condition or disorder or who are at risk of developing one at same point in the future. Screening tests are often not diagnostic in the strict sense of the term, although a positive screening test will typically be followed by one or more definitive tests to confirm or reject the diagnosis suggested by the screening test. A test with high sensitivity is able to identify the majority of genuine cases of the condition under consideration. For example, sensitivity of 90% means that the test will identify as positive 90 out of 100 people known to have the condition (and will miss the other 10, who are termed "false negatives"). Specificity, on the other hand, refers to a test's ability to exclude false cases; that is, the greater its specificity, the less likely the test is to give positive results for individuals who do not, in fact, have the disease in question ("false positives").
The term "screening instrument" is also in widespread use, typically referring to a questionnaire or brief interview schedule. Examples of screening instruments for alcohol-use disorders include Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), Munich Alcoholism Test (MALT), the Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener (CAGE) test, and the Le-Go grid. See also: biological marker & diagnostic test.
• Deady, Mark (2009) A review of screening, assessment and outcome measures for drug and alcohol settings
• NICE Alcohol-use disorder pathway
• NICE Drug-misuse disorder pathway
• NDC collection - Screening evidence resources
• HSE, Ireland - Quick question (alcohol use leaftlet)
Haber et al (2009) Guidelines for the treatment of alcohol problems, appendix 1 provides Screening and diagnostic instruments.
(See also Chapter 3 Screening, assessment and treatment planning)
1. Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
5. Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)
6. Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire Form-C (SADQ-C)
7. Short Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire (SADD)
8. Readiness to Change Questionnaire (RTCQ)
9. Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness scale (SOCRATES)
10. The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST V3.0: WHO)
11. Mini-Mental State Examination
12. Indigenous Risk Impact Screen (IRIS)
13. Alcohol Problems Questionnaire (APQ)
14. University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA)
15. The Clock Drawing Test