Psychometric properties of a single-item assessing drunkenness to identify hazardous drinking: a replication study Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Background: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) is a commonly used scale to screen for hazardous alcohol use in various settings, including primary and emergency care settings. In such settings, brevity of effective screening tools is needed; therefore, single items have been developed and tested for detecting at-risk alcohol use behaviors.Purpose: This study replicates previous work validating the ability of a non-quantity-based single item assessing drunkenness to effectively identify signs of hazardous alcohol use.Methods: During fall 2013, alcohol use data were collected from 781 self-reported current drinkers. Concurrent validity of a drunkenness item to detect hazardous drinking behaviors was assessed against gender-based AUDIT-C thresholds. Convergent validity of the drunkenness item was assessed against biologic BrAC samples.Results: The single drunkenness item accounted for 0.856 of the area-under-the-received operating characteristics (ROC) curve for hazardous alcohol use (p < 0.001). Using a specific cut-off of 1, the drunkenness item was 99.8% sensitive in detecting hazardous drinking behavior and was 93.5% specific in identifying non-hazardous drinking behaviors.Conclusion: In a new sample, initial psychometric findings of the single drunkenness item to accurately detect hazardous alcohol use were replicated, providing additional support for the utility of this item.

author list (cited authors)

  • Chaney, B. H., Barry, A. E., Cremeens-Matthews, J., Martin, R. J., Stellefson, M. L., & Vail-Smith, K.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • November 2014