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December 9, 1998

Screening for Alcoholism Using CAGE—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(22):1904-1905. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-22-jac80017

In Reply.—We regret that space considerations did not allow us to cite the original publications describing several of the screening questionnaires that we reviewed. We agree with Dr Ewing that when the CAGE questionnaire is used, 1 positive response from male or female patients should lead to further inquiry by clinicians,1 despite the statement in a recent National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism review that "a total score of 2 or more is considered clinically significant."2 We also agree that open-ended introductions are essential, irrespective of the screening questionnaire used.

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