To determine the internal consistency and 1-week test-retest reliability of the Simple Screening Instrument for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SSI-AOD), the CAGE-AA (CAGE questions adapted for adolescents), and 4 modified items from the Drug and Alcohol Problem QuickScreen (DAP-4) among adolescents.
Fifteen- to 18-year-old medical patients (n = 173) completed screening tests during a routine medical visit and then again 1 week later. Internal consistency for each test and retest was calculated using Cronbach's α, and 1-week test-retest reliability was calculated by using Winer's unbiased estimate of the intraclass correlation coefficient (r).
The SSI-AOD has good internal consistency (α = .83) and the CAGE-AA questions acceptable internal consistency (α = .60). Alpha varied with gender and race, and item analysis indicated the CAGE-AA test could be improved. As expected, the DAP-4 had a lower α score (.46). All screening instruments studied had high 1-week test-retest reliabilities (ranger = .82–.90).
The SSI-AOD is a reliable substance abuse screening instrument among adolescent medical patients. The CAGE-AA questions must be further revised and tested before their use can be recommended. The DAP-4 questions are likely measuring different, but important, constructs.