Screening for Substance Use Disorders Following Traumatic Brain Injury: Examining the Validity of the AUDIT and the DAST

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Abstract

Objective: To examine the validity of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST)-2 widely recommended rating scales-in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) population at 24 months following injury. The Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was used as the gold standard criterion. Setting: TBI rehabilitation program at Epworth Hospital, Victoria, Australia. Participants: A total of 113 individuals, 87 males and 26 females, with complicated mild to severe TBI. Design: Prospective study documenting substance use following TBI. Main measures: AUDIT, DAST, and Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Results: In individuals with TBI, a cutoff score of 11 on the AUDIT may be the most appropriate indicator of an alcohol use disorder whereas a cutoff score of 6 on the DAST may be the most appropriate indicator of drug use disorder. Both screening measures demonstrated excellent diagnostic accuracy at 24 months following injury. Conclusion: The optimal cutoff score for the AUDIT may need to be elevated for use following TBI. Nevertheless, both the AUDIT and the DAST are suitable measures for assessing substance use following TBI. Given the importance of uniformity in postinjury assessment, the AUDIT and the DAST may serve as future screening standards in TBI research
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40 - 48
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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