Journal Mobile Options
Table of Contents
Vol. 9, No. 2, 2003
Issue release date: April 2003
Eur Addict Res 2003;9:87–93

A New Measure of the Alcohol Dependence Syndrome: The Severity Scale of Alcohol Dependence

John U. · Hapke U. · Rumpf H.-J.
aErnst-Moritz-Arndt University Greifswald, Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Addiction Research Center, Greifswald, and bMedical University of Lübeck, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Research Group S:TEP (Substance Abuse: Treatment, Epidemiology and Prevention), Lübeck, Germany

Individual Users: Register with Karger Login Information

Please create your User ID & Password

Contact Information

I have read the Karger Terms and Conditions and agree.

To view the fulltext, please log in

To view the pdf, please log in


The purpose was to develop a diagnostic instrument of the Alcohol Dependence Syndrome defined by Edwards and Gross (1976) since comparable scales show some limitations. The methods include three studies carried out in order to develop the SEverity Scale of Alcohol dependence (SESA; total n = 774 alcohol-dependent patients), and three further studies served for validation (total n = 603 alcohol dependents). The findings reveal that the SESA, a 33-item questionnaire including 7 subscales which cover the criteria of the Alcohol Dependence Syndrome, proved to be internally consistent. The subscales are correlated with respective information from internationally validated interview instruments for the diagnosis of alcohol dependence according to DSM and ICD (CIDI, SCAN): six subscales are correlated with six of eight CIDI items and with eight of nine SCAN items selected for the purpose of validation. In addition, there are positive correlations with the Munich Alcoholism Test, the Michigan Alcoholism Test as well as single items of the WHO Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. It is concluded from the results that the SESA shows good validity.

Copyright / Drug Dosage

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.


  1. Edwards G, Gross MM: Alcohol dependence: Provisional description of a clinical syndrome. Br Med J 1976;1:1058–1061.
  2. World Health Organisation: Tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases, chap V(F): Mental and Behavioural Disorders. Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. Geneva, World Health Organisation, 1991.
  3. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ed 4 (international version). Washington, American Psychiatric Association, 1995.
  4. McLellan AT, Kushner H, Metzger D, Peters R, Smith I, Grissom G, Pettinati H, Argeriou M: The fifth edition of the Addiction Severity Index. J Subst Abuse Treat 1992;9:199–213.
  5. Gsellhofer B, Küfner H, Vogt M, Weiler D: European Addiction Severity Index. EuropASI. Deutsche Bearbeitung. Baltmannsweiler, Schneider, 1999.
  6. Edwards G: The Alcohol Dependence Syndrome: A concept as stimulus to enquiry. Br J Add 1986;81:171–183.
  7. Stockwell T, Hodgson R, Edwards G, Taylor C, Rankin H: The development of a questionnaire to measure severity of alcohol dependence. Br J Add 1979;74:79–87.
  8. Stockwell T, Murphy D, Hodgson R: The Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire: Its use, reliability and validity. Br J Add 1983;78:145–155.
  9. Skinner HA, Allen BA: Alcohol dependence syndrome: Measurement and validation. J Abnorm Psychol 1982;91:199–209.
  10. Davidson R, Raistrick D: The validity of the Short Alcohol Dependence Data (SADD) questionnaire: A short self-report questionnaire for the assessment of alcohol dependence. Br J Add 1986;81:217–222.
  11. Raistrick D, Dunbar G, Davidson R: Development of a questionnaire to measure alcohol dependence. Br J Add 1983;78:89–95.
  12. Feuerlein W, Ringer C, Kuefner H, Antons K: Diagnosis of alcoholism: The Munich Alcoholism Test (MALT). Curr Alc 1979;7:137–147.
  13. John U, Hapke U, Rumpf H-J: Die Skala zur Erfassung der Schwere der Alkoholabhängigkeit [The SEverity Scale of Alcohol dependence (SESA)]. Manual. Göttingen, Hogrefe, 2001.
  14. Hapke U, Rumpf H-J, Meyer C, Dilling H, John U: Substance use, abuse and dependence among the adult population in a rural and urban region of Northern Germany. Eur Add Res 1998;4:208–209.
  15. Wittchen H-U, Beloch E, Garczynski E, Holly A, Lachner G, Perkonigg A, Vodermaier A, Vossen A, Wunderlich U, Zieglgänsberger S: Münchener Composite International Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI), Version 2.2. Munich, Max-Planck Institute for Psychiatry, 1995.
  16. Rumpf H-J, Meyer C, Hapke U, Bischof G, John U: Inanspruchnahme suchtspezifischer Hilfen bei Alkoholabhängigen und -missbrauchern: Ergebnisse der TACOS-Bevölkerungsstudie [Utilization of addiction care in alcohol dependents and abusers: Findings from the TACOS population-based study]. Sucht 2000;46:9–17.
  17. John U, Rumpf H-J, Hapke U: Estimating prevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence in one general hospital: An approach to reduce sample selection bias. Alcohol Alcohol 1999;34:786–794.
  18. World Health Organization (WHO): Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1992.
  19. Wittchen H-U: Reliability and validity studies of the WHO-Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI): A critical review. J Psychiatr Res 1994;28:57–84.
  20. Guelick-Bailer, Maurer K, Haefner H: SCAN. Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (German version). Bern, Huber, 1995.
  21. Saunders JB, Aasland OG, Babor TF, De La Fuente JR, Grant M: Development of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): WHO collaborative project on early detection of persons with harmful alcohol consumption. Part II. Addiction 1993;88:617–629.
  22. Selzer ML: The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test: The quest for a new diagnostic instrument. Am J Psychiatry 1971;127:89–94.
  23. Gorenc KD, Bruner CA, Nadelsticher A, Pacurucu S, Feuerlein W: A cross-cultural study: A comparison of German, Spanish and Ecuadorian alcoholics using the Munich Alcoholism Test (MALT). Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 1984;10:429–446.
  24. Rumpf H-J, Bischof G, Hapke U, Meyer C, John U: Studies on natural recovery from alcohol dependence: Sample selection bias by media solicitation? Addiction 2000;95:765–775.

Pay-per-View Options
Direct payment This item at the regular price: USD 38.00
Payment from account With a Karger Pay-per-View account (down payment USD 150) you profit from a special rate for this and other single items.
This item at the discounted price: USD 26.50