Department of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India
Background: Alcohol dependence (AD) is a major reason for morbidity and visits to emergency medical settings. However, the detection of AD is often difficult or overlooked. This study aimed to develop a brief screening questionnaire in Hindi language for detection of AD in an emergency medical setting. Methods: The authors in consultation devised a set of questions related to AD in the Hindi language requiring binary yes/no type of response. These questions were guided by clinical experience, nosological criteria and previously published screening questionnaires. After initial piloting, these questions were administered by the treating doctors to 100 consenting adult patients presenting with possible AD in the emergency medical services of a tertiary care hospital in North India. A diagnosis of AD was done by administering Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview separately. Identification of the most discriminant combinations of items for the detection of AD were based on the chi-square test and binary logistic regression analyses. The final version of the questionnaire was then externally validated on another cohort of patients. Results: Based on the analyses, we retained 5 items in the final version of the questionnaire. Sensitivity and specificity values for cut-off scores were calculated. Subsequent external validation revealed satisfactory psychometric properties of the questionnaire. Conclusion: The questionnaire represents a simple and brief clinician-administered instrument for screening of AD in an emergency medical setting.