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Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment:
doi: 10.1097/ADT.0000000000000038
Original Articles

Toward Efficient Screening for DSM-5 Alcohol Use Disorders in College Students: Performance of the Audit-C

Hagman, Brett T. PhD

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Objectives: The newly implemented Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) criteria may significantly alter how AUDs are identified in our alcohol screening efforts. The Alcohol Use Disorders and Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) is a 3-item alcohol screening instrument that has been used extensively to identify those at-risk for an AUD. At present, research on the AUDIT-C to screen for AUDs in college students using the new DSM-5 guidelines has received no attention. The present study evaluated the performance of the AUDIT-C in screening for DSM-5 AUDs in college students.

Methods and Materials: Participants (N=1697) were past-year drinkers and recruited from 3 universities in the Southeastern, United States.

Results: The AUDIT-C performed slightly better in the detection of DSM-5 AUDs [areas under receiving operating characteristic curve (AUROC)=0.764; SE=0.014] in comparison with DSM-IV AUDs (AUROC=0.734; SE=0.014). Alternatively, the AUDIT-C performed most optimally in the detection of heavy binge drinking (AUROC=0.913; SE=0.008) and any binge drinking (AUROC=0.862; SE=0.009) in comparison with the detection of DSM-5 AUDs. Sex differences emerged in the identification of optimal AUDIT-C cut-off scores for detecting DSM-5 AUDs.

Conclusions: Overall, preliminary findings indicate that the AUDIT-C provides reasonably good discrimination in the detection of DSM-5 AUDs in college students. Continued research is warranted to ensure the stability of the current study findings.

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