Validityof Brief Screening Instrument for Adolescent Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use.

Kelly SM, Gryczynski J, Mitchell SG, Kirk A, O'Grady KE, Schwartz RP. Validityof Brief Screening Instrument for Adolescent Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use.Pediatrics. 2014 Apr 21. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24753528; PubMedCentral PMCID: PMC4006430.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 
developed an alcohol screening instrument for youth based on epidemiologic data. 
This study examines the concurrent validity of this instrument, expanded to
include tobacco and drugs, among pediatric patients, as well as the acceptability
of its self-administration on an iPad.
METHODS: Five hundred and twenty-five patients (54.5% female; 92.8% African
American) aged 12 to 17 completed the Brief Screener for Tobacco, Alcohol, and
other Drugs (BSTAD) via interviewer-administration or self-administration using
an iPad. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition substance use disorders
(SUDs) were identified using a modified Composite International Diagnostic
Interview-2 Substance Abuse Module. Receiver operating characteristic curves,
sensitivities, and specificities were obtained to determine optimal cut points on
the BSTAD in relation to SUDs.
RESULTS: One hundred fifty-nine (30.3%) adolescents reported past-year use of ≥1 
substances on the BSTAD: 113 (21.5%) used alcohol, 84 (16.0%) used marijuana, and
50 (9.5%) used tobacco. Optimal cut points for past-year frequency of use items
on the BSTAD to identify SUDs were ≥6 days of tobacco use (sensitivity = 0.95;
specificity = 0.97); ≥2 days of alcohol use (sensitivity = 0.96; specificity =
0.85); and ≥2 days of marijuana use (sensitivity = 0.80; specificity = 0.93).
iPad self-administration was preferred over interviewer administration (z = 5.8; 
P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: The BSTAD is a promising screening tool for identifying problematic 
tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use in pediatric settings. Even low frequency of 
substance use among adolescents may indicate need for intervention.