The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, also referred to as AUDIT, refers to a ten-item test tool created and developed by the world health organization (WHO) to facilitate the assessment of problems related to the consumption of alcohol, the behaviors associated with alcohol intake, and problems that are associated with alcohol consumption. There are two outlined ways of administering the tests, including the clinical administered version and the self-report version. In taking the test, the participants are encouraged to respond to the AUDIT concerning standard drinks. The test is accompanied by a chart that elaborates on the approximate amount of standard drinks available in various alcoholic beverages for reference in conducting the test. From the test, a score of eight or more is considered a dangerous alcohol use that could be harmful to the users. The AUDIT is considered effective as it has been validated across both genders and considered effective for both genders. Additionally, it is accepted for a wide range of ethnic and racial divides. Its effectiveness makes it efficient for utility in the process of providing primary care.
The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) refers to a test developed in 1971. It represents one of the oldest and most accurate tests used in the performance of alcohol screening. The test is effective in the identification of dependent alcohol drinkers. The effectiveness and efficiency of the tool are generated from the fact that it has an accuracy level of up to 98%, a factor that increases the prospects for the generation of effective results. In conducting the MAST test, some questions related to the self-appraisal of the patient, vaccination, and family problems that are, in most instances, associated with levels of alcohol intake. In the development of the test, the main reason behind the development focused on the screening for alcohol problems existing in the general population. The MAST test is made up of 22 self-administered questions. In the scoring for the MAST test, a cumulative score of six or more indicates harmful alcohol intake levels of the dependency on alcohol. The scoring of six or more points results in the recommendation of further evaluation of the individual health professional.
There were different experiences associated with the administration of both tools. In the admiration of the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), the self-report version of administration was used. The use of the version was as the test was conducted outside the confines of a health facility. As it was a mock exercise, I provided the questions to my colleague, who responded to them as required in the exercise. As the tool uses a total of ten questions, the reactions that got from the respondent suggested a high level of ease and willingness to take the test.
In the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) administration, the mock exercise was similarly used, and the respondents were expected to respond to the questions. The high number of questions that the respondent had to respond to seemed to provide a significant challenge in administering the questionnaire. Before the respondent was convinced to respond to the questions, there seemed to be an absence of unease and reluctance to engage in the process. However, a significant positive change was exhibited as once the respondent began responding to the questions, their flow of the questions resulted in an increased willingness of participation in the study exercise.
The strengths of the AUDIT test include its high validity for the detection of alcohol abuse and alcohol; dependency. The likelihood ratio of the success of the test presents significantly effective values. It is further significantly effective in the identification and determination of hazardous drinking. In this sense, it presents 91.9% of global efficiency for cut off value of at least seven points. The test has been widely utilized and recently validated in the traumatic brain injury population (TBI). The validation makes it efficient to be used in the population group, which is otherwise significantly vulnerable and cannot withstand other tests.
There are also strengths associated with the MAST test. Some of the benefits of the MAST test are drawn from the longer length of the test. The length of the test provides the chance to cover the dangerous biopsychosocial correlations of excess alcohol usage. It also enables the patients to receive increased and entailed feedback concerning the challenges and the problem areas following the completion of the MAST test. The test engages in assessing the self-appraisal of individuals of their perceived control over drinking behaviors, interpersonal and personal problems that relate to alcohol intake, and symptoms that suggest more severe alcohol dependence.
Among the weaknesses associated with the AUDIT test includes that it is not suitable for use within twelve months of injury. The questions involved in the survey in a significant way relate to the past year of individual existence. In the case that an individual has received an injury of faced a medical condition that results in the advice to abstain from alcohol use over the past twelve months, then the results of the test could be affected. The responses that the individual provides for the questions, in this case, may not provide a true reflection of the subsequent or the typical pattern of alcohol consumption of the individual.
The weaknesses of the MAST test include that it was solely created for screening patients suffering from alcohol dependency. The weaknesses include that considering its length. It is not convenient to administer to patients in a busy primary care office or an emergency room setting. Additionally, the questions in the MAST test administration also seem to focus on the life tome problems of the patient, rather than focusing on the current problems that the patient could be facing. As a result of the factor, it is unlikely that the test will detect alcohol problems in their early stages.
The main challenges associated with the administering of the AUDIT test include that in most instances, individuals have to face health conditions that prompt the advice of a medical doctor to avoid taking alcohol, especially when using medication. The result is that it is difficult to find an individual who fits the qualification of not having had a medical advisory against alcohol in a period of fewer than twelve months. Consequently, most of the respondents who undertake the test are affected by the factor, compromising the generated results.
The challenge associated with administering the MAST test includes that the test is mainly related to the long length of the test. The test is not well suited for clinical setups where the health care provider has the responsibility of attending to other patients. Given the long length of the test, there are increased possibilities that the care provider could rush over the test to attend to other patients. As a result, the efficiency is reduced. In the course of self-administration, there increased the likelihood that an individual could lose interest in the course of taking the test. Individuals could fail to finish the test. Also, the keenness required could be eliminated, resulting in reduced efficiency.
Improving the tolls is necessary to facilitate the generation of better results. Among the ways that could be used to improve the AUDIT tools include improving the tool to ensure that it could also work for the patients who have faced situations over the past twelve months prompting them to avoid alcohol intake. The improvement should focus on ensuring that the questions used in the study do not only focus on the past twelve months, rather that they are well spread to capture a wider duration.
The improvement of the MAST tool would be achieved through the reduction if the questions contained in the too. The high number of questions pose a challenge following the fact that it reduces the morae that the participants have in responding to the questions. Additionally, the MAST tool could be improved through designing the questions to ensure that they also capture the recent situations that an individual faces and that they are not focused so much on the past experiences of an individual.