Two Questions in the Preliminary Screening to Determine Alcohol Abuse

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By Smitha Nambiar | July 8, 2014 5:46 PM EST

Two questions in the preliminary screening are all required to determine alcohol abuse, according to a study published in the British Journal of General Practice (GP). Along with the CAGE questionnaire, which includes an additional four questions, the approach to find out hidden substance abuse achieved an accuracy of 90.9 per cent.

Two questions - "How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?" and "as a result of your drinking or drug use, did anything happen in the last year that you wish didn't happen?" are enough  for a GP to determine and detect hidden alcohol abuse, claims the study published in the GP.

Researchers at the University of Leicester, led by Alex Mitchell, consultant in psycho-oncology, took a thorough look at 17 previous alcohol studies and 5,646 people to see whether a simple preliminary screening using one or two questions was enough to prove alcohol abuse. It was found that the two questions gave an accurate diagnosis of 79.8 per cent of alcohol abuse. According to the GP, too many questions can complicate matters while administering each patient, and hence the scientists wanted to see if a shorter survey can be used for accurate results. This will also ensure a much easier and quicker screening of problems.

This study will be extremely useful to study and help resolve alcohol abuse in the country. The Australian Government's National Health and Medical Research Council revealed recently that alcohol is second only to tobacco. While alcohol consumption was 3.3 per cent of the total disease and injury in Australia, 4.9 per cent included males while 1.6 per cent was females.

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