The CAGE is a 4 item screening questionnaire used to identify those individuals for whom more extensive evaluation of alcohol use is recommended. It is the oldest and likely most extensively used questionnaire across a variety of clinical and research settings (Ewing 1984). Originally developed for use with adults, it has been used in elderly populations as well.
Number of items: 4
Procedure/Administration: A self report pen/paper or interview format. Responses of “yes/no” to the following:
The CAGE questions can be used in the clinical setting using informal phrasing. It has been demonstrated that they are most effective when used as part of a general health history and should NOT be preceded by questions about how much or how frequently the patient drinks.
How scored: Typically, two or more of the questions answered affirmatively are considered to be “CAGE positive”, though some suggest a positive response to a single item warrants more in-depth investigation of consumption.
Interpretability: Score correlates positively with pre-
Time to administer: Less than 5 minutes to complete. Easy to administer and score
Time to score: N/a
Training required: N/a
Availability: The exact wording that can be used in research studies can be found in : JA Ewing Detecting alcoholism: the CAGE questionnaire. JAMA 1984; 252: 1905-7. Researchers and clinicians who are publishing studies using the CAGE questionnaire should cite the above reference.
Equipment required: N/a
Construct: Yellow light
Note: TR= Test re-test; IC= Internal Consistency; Inter-O= Inter-observer; Intra-O= Intra-observer; SS= Sensitivity/Specificity; N/a= No information.
Red light= A single study involving SCI subjects which has less than adequate findings of reliability, validity, and/or responsiveness.
Yellow light= A single study involving subjects with SCI which has adequate to excellent findings of reliability, validity, and/or responsiveness.
Green light= At least 2 studies involving subjects with SCI which have adequate to excellent findings of reliability, validity, and/or responsiveness.