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Editor's Correspondence
March 26, 2001

An Automated Screening Strategy to Identify Patients With Alcohol Problems in a Primary Care Setting

Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(6):895-896. doi:

It was a pleasure to read the systematic review of brief alcohol screening instruments by Fiellin and colleagues.1 Such studies are essential to improving screening methods in primary care settings.

Fiellin et al1 report that an effective screening strategy for alcohol abuse and dependence should include a combination of CAGE (cut down, annoyed, guilt, eye-opener),2,3 questions regarding quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, and, when time permits, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).4-6 Though these instruments are effective screening tools, they are not strategies, per se.

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