The FAST Alcohol Screening Test (Hodgson et al., 2002) is a 4-item screening test developed for busy clinical settings using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT, Saunders et al. 1993) as the gold standard. The FAST questionnaire is a two-stage screening test that is quick to administer since >50% of patients are identified by using just the first question. These four questions are taken from the AUDIT.

FAST has undergone validity testing in primary care and has been found to be of high sensitivity and specificity (Hodgson et al., 2002) and performs well in comparison to the AUDIT (Saunders et al. 1993) across a range of settings. We were aware from our pilot work that shorter screening instruments were more likely to be adopted in the typical clinical setting than the longer AUDIT; therefore we compared FAST to the even shorter single item test (M-SASQ) described here.

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