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Review: sensitivity of the CAGE questionnaire for the DSM diagnosis of alcohol abuse and dependence in general clinical populations was 71% at cut points ⩾2

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 Q What are the characteristics of the CAGE questionnaire in screening for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and dependence in general clinical populations?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆ IM/Ambulatory care★★★★★★☆ Internal medicine ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1974–2001), MEDION database, hand searches of Dutch language general practice journals not indexed in Medline, reference lists of retrieved papers, and experts.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

studies published in any language (except Japanese) that used the CAGE as an independent questionnaire in consecutive patients or a random sample of patients from well described general clinical populations; used DSM criteria as the diagnostic standard; and reported (or provided data for calculation of) test characteristics at all cut points of the CAGE. Exclusion criteria: studies of non-clinical or special clinical populations; comparisons of patients in alcohol or drug treatment with other drinkers or psychiatric …

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  • For correspondence: Dr B Aertgeerts, Katholicke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium. bert.aertgeerts{at}

  • Source of funding: no external funding.