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Category Surveys/Scales, Substance Use
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post_id 984

The MAST is one of the most widely used measures for assessing alcohol abuse. The measure is a 25-item questionnaire designed to provide a rapid and effective screening for lifetime alcohol-related problems and alcoholism. The MAST has been productively used in a variety of settings with varied populations. Several briefer versions of the MAST have been offered.

The MAST focuses on the consequences of problem drinking and on the subjects’ own perceptions of their alcohol problems. Recent studies have reported that a cutoff score of “12” or “13” achieves balanced rates of false positives and false negatives (13,14). Two shortened forms of the MAST, a 13-item Short MAST (SMAST) (15) and a 10-item brief MAST (b-MAST) (16), have been constructed using items from the original test that are highly discriminating for alcoholism. A cutoff score of “3” is suggested for the SMAST; a cutoff score of “6” is suggested for the b-Mast.

Also available are briefer versions of the MAST, including the 10-item Brief MAST (Pokorny et al., American Journal of Psychiatry, 1972, 129, 342-345), the 13-item Short MAST (SMAST) (Selzer et al., Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1975, 36, 117-126), and a 9-item modified version called the Malmo modification (Mm-MAST) (Kristenson & Trell, British Journal of Addiction, 1982, 77, 297-304).

Melvin L. Selzer, M.D.

1971; Cost: $40.00 for copy, no fee for use. Contact: Melvin L. Selzer, M.D., 6967 Paseo Laredo, LaJolla, CA, 92037; Phone: 858-459-1035; E-mail:

Selzer, M.L. (1971). The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST): The quest for a new diagnostic instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 127, 1653-1658.

Easton, C.J., Swan, S. & Sinha, R. (2000). Prevalence of family violence in clients entering substance abuse treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 18(1), 23-28.

Teitelbaum, L. & Mullen, B. (2000). Validity of the MAST in psychiatric settings: A META-analytic integration. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 61(2), 254-261.

Maisto, S.A., Connors, G.J. & Allen, J.P. (1995). Contrasting self-report screens for alcohol problems: A review. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 19(6), 1510-1516.

Selzer, M.L., Vinokur, A. & VanRooijen, L. (1975). A self-administered short version of the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (SMAST). Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 36, 117-126.

Reported alpha coefficients from nine different studies ranged from .83 to .95. Zung (1982) reported test-retest reliability coefficients of .97 for 1-day retest interval, .86 for 2-day interval, and .85 for 3-day interval, when using a psychiatric population. Skinner and Sheu (1982) obtained a test-retest reliability coefficient of .84 for an average 4.8 month retest interval, with a sample of 91 psychiatric patients. The time required to administer is approximately 7 minutes.

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