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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Accurate assessment is critical to clinical interventions for problems associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs, and it is essential for research on the causes, consequences, and treatment of addiction. Verbal report is the most common method of assessing substance use behavior, diagnosing alcohol and drug use disorders, and measuring dependence severity. The authors describe self-report methods for the assessment of substance use and related constructs, together with the factors that influence their validity and utility. First, assessment procedures are described in terms of the characteristics and dimensions on which they vary. Guidelines for selecting specific types of instruments for clinical and research purposes are then provided, and the strengths and limitations of major assessment approaches are discussed. Finally, a social-psychological framework for understanding the question-answering process is presented, and assessment methods are evaluated in relation to the model. The authors conclude by identifying relevant areas of research.

Keywords: substance use assessment, alcohol measurement, clinical assessment, research assessment, screening and diagnosis, self-report validity, question-answering process

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