specific substance dependence scales

a collection of useful scale evaluation articles

SADQ :: Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire


⓵ Stockwell TR, Hodgson RJ, Edwards G, Taylor C, and Rankin H (1979) The Development of a Questionnaire to Measure Severity of Alcohol Dependence. British Journal of Addiction 74:79-87  

PMID: 283831

Description of a 20 item scale with 5 subscales each having 4 items - focus is on withdrawal symptoms. Internal consistency SADQ subscales correlate with SADQ total 0.69 to 0.80. Construct validity single factor accounting for 53% of variance. Concurrent validity‣ clinical Rating correlates with SADQ 0.63.


⓶ Stockwell T, Murphy D, Hodgson R (1983) The Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire: Its Use, Reliability and Validity. British Journal of Addiction 78:145-55

PMID: 6135435

Further validation of SADQ. Convergent validity SADQ correlates with tremor 0.23  and craving 0.29.

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⓷ Potamianos G, Gorman DM, Duffy SW, Peters TJ (1984) The use of the severity of alcohol dependence questionnaire (SADQ) on a sample of problem drinkers presenting at a district general hospital. Alcohol 1:441-5  

PMID not found

Further validation of SADQ with general medical patients.


⓸ Meehan JP, Webb MGT, Unwin AR (1985) The Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SADQ) in a Sample of Irish Problem Drinkers. British Journal of Addiction 80:57-63

PMID: 3856449

Found some inconsistency with clinical ratings.  Using SADQ cutoff ≥30 and SADQ score ranging 1 to 60 75% agreement with clinical rating.


⓹ Drummond C (1990) The relationship between alcohol dependence and alcohol-related problems in a clinical population. British Journal of Addiction 85:357-366

PMID: 2334822

Convergent validity SADQ correlates with APQ common problems 0.45  and consumption 0.53.


⓺ Stockwell T, Sitharthan T, McGrath D, Lang E (1994) The measurement of alcohol dependence and impaired control in community samples. Addiction 89:167-84

PMID: 8173482

Describes the SADQ-C - a version to be used in community settings and suggests changes to the SADQ.

ADS :: Alcohol Dependence Scale

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⓵ Skinner HA & Allen BA (1982) Alcohol dependence syndrome: Measurement and validation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 91(3):199-209

PMID: 7096790

Description of development of 25 item self completion scale to measure alcohol dependence as a continuous measure. Construct validity three factors withdrawal, compulsive drinking, loss of control accounting for 31.0%, 7.1%, 5.7% of the variance. Convergent validity ADS correlates with MAST 0.69; lifetime Consumption 0.43; current Intake 0.35; Alcohol Use Inventory subscales: social maladaptation 0.64, physical withdrawal 0.83, loss of control 0.86, drug use 0.18, denial -0.22, social desirability -0.51. Predictive validity ADS correlates with clinic attendance -0.19.

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⓶ Kahler CW, Strong DR, Stuart GL, Moore TM and Ramsey SE (2003) Item functioning of the alcohol dependence scale in a high-risk sample. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 72:183-192

PMID: 14636973

Detail of item performance and suggest eliminate 16 items to improve linearity and avoid response choice bias. Internal consistency alpha 0.90. Construct validity six factors accounting for 62.1% of variance.

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⓷ Saxon AJ, Kivlahan DR and Doyle S (2007) Further validation of the Alcohol Dependence Scale as an index of severity. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 68:149-156

PMID: 17149529

Investigates ADS performance against DSM - limited sensitivity and specificity for DSM alcohol diagnosis. Discriminant validity AUC male 0.75; female 0.67.

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⓸ Murphy CM and MacKillop J (2011) Factor Structure Validation of the Alcohol Dependence Scale in a Heavy Drinking College Sample. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 33:523-530  

DOI: 10.1007/s10862-011-9239-4

Psycometrics in a non-clinical population.

FTND :: Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence


⓵ Heatherton TF, Kozlowski LT, Frecker RC, Fagerström KO (1991) The Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence: a revision of the Fagerström Tolerance Questionnaire. British Journal of Addiction 86(9):1119

PMID: 1932883

Description of the development of a six item scale of nicotine dependence.

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⓶ Pomerleau CS, Carton SM, Lutzke ML, Flessland KA, Pomerleau OF (1994) Reliability of the fagerstrom tolerance questionnaire and the fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence. Addictive Behaviour 19(1):33-9

PMID: 8197891 

Further validation of FTND. Internal consistency alpha 0.64. Convergent validity: FTND correlates with years smoked 0.57.

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⓷ Meneses-Gaya IC, Zuardi AW, Loureiro SR, José Alexandre de Souza Crippa. (2009) Psychometric properties of the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence. Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia 35(1):73-82

PMID: 19219334

A review of studies of psychometrics - inconsistency between one and two factor solutions. Internal consistency alpha 0.55 to 0.74; test-retest reliability 0.65 to 0.91. Convergent validity FTND correlates with consumption 0.38; saliva cotinine 0.24 to 0.45. Concurrent validity: FTND correlates with HSI 0.49.


⓸ DiFranza JR, Wellman RJ, Savageau JA, Beccia A, Ursprung, W W Sanouri A, McMillen R (2013) What aspect of dependence does the fagerström test for nicotine dependence measure? ISRN Addiction 906276

DOI: 10.1155/2013/906276

Further validation. Internal consistency‣ alpha 0.73. Convergent validity FTND correlates with AUTOSw 0.72; AUTOSd 0.64; AUTOSc 0.63  and  with time to wanting next cigarette -0.66


Search terms used to identify dependence scales:

Athens search of Psychinfo: (("substance dependence" OR "alcohol dependence" OR "drug dependence" OR "nicotine dependence" OR "opiate dependence") AND (questionnaire OR scale) AND (psychometric OR development OR evaluation)).ti,ab [Limit to: Publication Year 1980-2016 and Abstract included and (Record type Journal Article) and (Language English) and (Age group Adulthood 18 Yrs & Older) and (Population Human) and (Classification Behavioral & Psychological Treatment of Physical Illness or Clinical Psychological Testing or Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation or Drug & Alcohol Usage Legal or Health Psychology & Medicine or Health Psychology Testing)]