Fast screening for alcohol misuse

Ray J Hodgson, Bev John, Tina Abbasi, Rachel C Hodgson, Seta Waller, Betsy Thom, Robert G Newcombe

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UNLABELLED: The Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST) has been developed from the AUDIT questionnaire.

AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: guidelines for use in primary health care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization for use in very busy medical settings. One feature of the FAST is its ease and speed of administration, especially since one question identifies over 50% of patients as either alcohol misusers or not. This study further explores the sensitivity and specificity of the FAST across ages, gender, and locations using the AUDIT as the gold standard. Two other quick tests are also compared with the AUDIT and the FAST, namely the Paddington Alcohol Test and the CAGE. All tests were quicker to administer than the AUDIT with the FAST taking just 12 s on average. All tests identified drinkers who would accept a health education booklet (over 70% of those identified) or 5 min of advice (over 40%). The FAST was consistently reliable when sensitivity and specificity were tested against AUDIT as the gold standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1453-63
Number of pages11
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study


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