Evid Based Nurs 6:23 doi:10.1136/ebn.6.1.23
  • Assessment (screening or diagnosis)

The CRAFFT test was accurate for screening for substance abuse among adolescent clinic patients

 QUESTION: What is the accuracy of the CRAFFT test in screening for substance abuse among adolescents in a hospital based clinic?


Blinded comparison of the CRAFFT test with a substance use/abuse problem scale and a structured psychiatric diagnostic interview.


A large, hospital based adolescent clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


538 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 years (68% girls) attending the clinic for routine medical care. Exclusion criteria were inability to read or understand English, or acute medical or psychiatric problems.

Description of test and diagnostic standards

The 6 item CRAFFT test (table 1) was administered verbally and the responses to the 6 yes/no questions were recorded. 2 scales were administered concurrently for criterion validity. The first diagnostic standard was the 17 item Substance Use/Abuse Scale from the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT), which assesses substance related problems and risks. …

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