Test characteristics of the CAGE in screening for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence in general clinical populations*

Patient populationCAGE score†Sensitivity (95% CI)Specificity (CI)+LR−LR
*Diagnostic terms defined in glossary.
†The CAGE comprises 4 questions requiring yes/no responses: have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking? Have people annoyed you by criticising your drinking? Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking? Have you ever had a drink in the morning to get rid of a hangover (eye-opener)? Scores are calculated as the sum of yes responses.
All⩾187% (79 to 93)68% (47 to 85)3.440.18
All⩾271% (61 to 80)90% (82 to 96)6.860.33
Primary care⩾185% (71 to 94)78% (70 to 85)3.950.19
Primary care⩾271% (54 to 84)91% (87 to 95)7.730.32
Ambulatory medical⩾183% (68 to 93)50% (17 to 84)3.780.22
Ambulatory medical⩾260% (42 to 76)92% (85 to 97)8.160.43
Inpatient⩾198% (95 to 100)56% (21 to 87)4.130.02
Inpatient⩾287% (75 to 95)77% (45 to 96)4.190.17