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Alcohol Withdrawal Assessment Tool

Validity and Reliability Testing in Acute Care

Davis, Carmen R., MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS-BC; Keen, Alyson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC; Holly, Vince, MSN, RN, CCRN, CCNS, ACNS-BC; Balaguras, Jean, MBA, MSN, RN; Miller, Wendy R., PhD, RN, CCRN

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0000000000000408
Feature Article

Purpose/Aims: The purpose of this study was to validate a tool to assess alcohol withdrawal in acute care patients. Study aims included (1) establish content validity, (2) examine criterion-related validity, (3) test interrater reliability, and (4) assess nurse usability.

Design: A psychometric research study was designed to evaluate the Alcohol Withdrawal Assessment Tool.

Methods: Validation was conducted using an expert panel to determine content validity. The Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol–Revised was used as comparison for the criterion related validity. Interrater reliability was determined by having 2 investigators simultaneously complete the assessment on the same patients. Usability was determined using a Likert scale survey.

Results: The average age of participants was 53 years, with a range of 27 to 81 years. Interrater reliability was supported by a κ statistic range of 0.61 to 0.6957, and content validity was supported by a content validity index of 1.0. Criterion-related validity was supported with a Pearson r correlation of 0.665 (P < .000). Of nurses surveyed, all answered agree or strongly agree to the usability survey.

Conclusions: The assessment tool may be an effective alternative to utilize in the acute care setting. It is easy to use and drives frequency of assessment and appropriate pharmacologic treatment.

Author Affiliations: Clinical Nurse Specialists (Mss Davis and Keen), Indiana University Health, University Hospital, Indianapolis; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Mr Holly), Indiana University Health, Bloomington Hospital; Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ms Balaguras), Indiana University Health, Bloomington Hospital; and Assistant Professor (Dr Miller), Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Carmen R. Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNS-BC, Indiana University Health, University Hospital, 5316 Brendonridge Rd, Indianapolis 46226 (;

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