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  • Liskola, Joni; Haravuori, Henna; Lindberg, Nina; Niemelä, Solja; Karlsson, Linnea; Kiviruusu, Olli; Marttunen, Mauri (2018)
    Background: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is commonly used in adults to screen for harmful alcohol consumption but few studies exist on its use among adolescents. Our aim was to validate the AUDIT and its derivative consumption questionnaire (AUDIT-C) as screening instruments for the detection of problem use of alcohol in adolescents. Methods: 621 adolescents (age-range, 12-19 years) were drawn from clinical and population samples who completed the AUDIT questionnaire. Psychiatric diagnoses were assessed using K-SADS-PL. A rating based on the K-SADS-PL was used to assess alcohol use habits, alcohol use disorders, screening and symptom criteria questions. Screening performance of the AUDIT and AUDIT-C sum scores and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated. The diagnostic odds ratios (dOR) were calculated to express the overall discrimination between cut-offs. Results: Comparisons of ROC between the AUDIT and AUDIT-C pairs indicated a slightly better test performance by AUDIT for the whole sample and in a proportion of the subsamples. Optimal cut-off value for the AUDIT was >= 5 (sensitivity 0.931, specificity 0.772, dOR 45.22; 95% CI: 24.72-83.57) for detecting alcohol problem use. The corresponding optimal cut-off value for the AUDIT-C was >= 3 in detecting alcohol problem use (sensitivity 0.952, specificity 0.663, dOR 39.31; 95% CI: 19.46-78.97). Agreement between the AUDIT and AUDIT-C using these cut-off scores was high at 91.9%. Conclusions: Our results for the cut-off scores for the early detection of alcohol problem use in adolescents are >= 5 for AUDIT, and >= 3 for AUDIT-C.