skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 140356 Find in a Library
Title: Screening for Alcohol Abuse Using the CAGE Questionnaire
Journal: American Journal of Medicine  Volume:82  Dated:(February 1987)  Pages:231-235
Author(s): B Bush; S Shaw; P Cleary; T L Delbanco; M D Aronson
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 5
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A prospective study of 518 patients admitted to the orthopedic and medical services of a community-based teaching hospital in Boston over a 6-month period was conducted to test the hypothesis that a short, easily administered questionnaire would improve the alcohol abuse detection rate of physicians.
Abstract: The CAGE questionnaire, a mnemonic for attempts to cut back on drinking, being annoyed at criticisms about drinking, feeling guilty about drinking, and using alcohol as an eye opener, was used as a screening instrument. The mean corpuscular volume of red blood cells, liver transaminase levels, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase levels were also evaluated as screening tests. The presence or absence of alcoholism and alcohol abuse for a consecutive sample of CAGE-negative patients and all patients answering affirmatively to one or more CAGE questions was established by administering the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test, a detailed chart review, and analysis of the quantity of consumed alcohol. The prevalence of alcohol abuse among the 518 patients was 20 percent. The mean corpuscular volume, gamma-glutamyl transpetidase value, and liver transaminase levels were very insensitive as screening tests. In contrast, the CAGE questionnaire had a sensitivity of 85 percent and a specificity of 89 percent. Only 63 percent of the alcoholic subjects and alcohol abusers were detected by their physicians; physicians addressed the problem in only 24 percent of the cases. The authors conclude that the CAGE questionnaire is a simple, sensitive, and specific screening test for alcohol abusers. 19 references, 3 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Alcoholism detection
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Massachusetts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.