Prevalence and identification of alcohol use disorders among nonpsychiatric inpatients in one general hospital

Chun Hsin Chen, Wei J. Chen, A. T A Cheng

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are common among inpatients in general hospitals and often cause excess mortality. This study investigates the prevalence of AUDs among nonpsychiatric inpatients in one general hospital and evaluates the ability of medical staff to identify such morbidity. A two-phase case-identification strategy was employed utilizing the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test as the first-phase screening tool and the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry as the second-phase diagnostic interview. Among 538 eligible patients, a total of 422 (78.4%) completed the first-phase screening. A subsample (20%) of those screened negative and 90% of those screened positive were interviewed at the second phase. The weighted 1-year prevalence rates of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence were 3.9% and 12.6%, respectively. The overall identification rate of AUDs by medical staff was 25.4% (0% for alcohol abuse and 30% for alcohol dependence). In conclusion, approximately one sixth of nonpsychiatric inpatients in a general hospital have AUDs and have been neglected substantially by medical staff. Implications of the findings for the prevention of AUDs and their physical complications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2004


  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Prevalence
  • Screening
  • Two-phase design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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