The prototype alcohol dependence questionnaire is the MAST (Selzer 1971). Instruments such as the MAST and the CAGE questionnaire were derived on the basis of their ability to distinguish chronic alcohol dependent individuals from nonalcohol dependent individuals (Mayfield et al. 1974).
The CAGE is a four-item screening instrument intended to identify alcohol abuse and dependence. Because of its brevity, it is less sensitive than the AUDIT or the MAST. It is not a diagnostic instrument, however a ‘yes’ to two or more questions indicates the need for further assessment for alcohol abuse (Mayfield et al. 1974).
C Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking? Yes No
A Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? Yes No
G Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking? Yes No
E Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover? Yes No
For more information, see Guidelines for the treatment of alcohol problems (the appendix contains screening instruments)
See also, screeningAustralia Government, Department of Health and Ageing