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

John U.a · Hapke U.a · Rumpf H.-J.b
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 Eur Addict Res 2003;9:87–93 (DOI:10.1159/000068806)


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.


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