Screening for Substance Abuse Among Adolescents Validity of the CAGE-AID in Youth Mental Health Care

Christianne Couwenbergh, Rutger J. van der Gaag, Maarten Koeter, Corine de Ruiter, Wim van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the diagnostic accuracy of the four-item self-report and parent-report versions of the CAGE-AID as a screen for substance-use disorders (SUD) among adolescents in mental health care. Method: Patients were 190 Dutch treatment-seeking adolescents (12-18 years old, mean age 15.5 years, 53% boys) and their parents who completed the CAGE-AID questionnaire during intake. DSM-IV clinical diagnoses were used as gold standard in receiver operating characteristic analyses to determine psychometric properties. Results: Psychometric properties for both the self-report and the parent-report versions showed the CAGE-AID's excellent diagnostic accuracy in predicting SUD. Conclusions: The CAGE-AID seems to be a brief and valid instrument for detecting SUD among adolescents in mental health care. However, denial may play a role in both the CAGE-AID and the clinical interviews. More research is needed to further establish the CAGE-AID's usefulness in other settings. The study's limitations have been noted
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-834
JournalSubstance Use & Misuse
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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