Exploratory validation study of the individual AUDIT-C items among older people

Stewart, Duncan, Hewitt, Catherine and McCambridge, Jim (2020) Exploratory validation study of the individual AUDIT-C items among older people. Alcohol and Alcoholism. ISSN 0735-0414 (In Press)

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Abstract / Description

Aims:
The AUDIT-C is a brief and commonly used alcohol screening tool, with few data available on the relative validity of the three individual items in older adult populations. The aim of this study was to explore the validity of the AUDIT-C items in identifying unhealthy drinking among older people, with a view to developing a single item screener.

Methods:
A sample of 143 older adults (mean age=71) were recruited from non-clinical settings in the UK. AUDIT-C scores were compared to an unhealthy drinking reference category of consuming more than the UK recommended weekly units of alcohol. Standard analyses were conducted for men and women, and for those prescribed medications for long term conditions.

Results:
The AUDIT-C items performed well in identifying unhealthy drinking in this sample of older people, with generally high sensitivity, specificity and area under the ROC curve. No significant differences were found in the validity of the three items, though the combined sensitivity and specificity scores and ROC values for item 3 were consistently slightly lower than for items 1 and 2. The findings were similar for men and women, and for participants prescribed medications for long term conditions.

Conclusions:
AUDIT-C items 1 and 2 performed as well as item 3 in identifying unhealthy drinking among older people in this study. Both are reasonable single item screener candidates, especially given relative ease of administration, with further validation study needed to examine psychometrics and how alcohol screening for older people can best be implemented in clinical settings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: AUDIT-C; alcohol screening tools; older adults; alcohol consumption; unhealthy drinking
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Social Professions
Depositing User: Duncan Stewart
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 09:19
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2020 14:09
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/5992

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