Prevalence and identification of alcohol use disorders among severe mental illness inpatients in Taiwan

Ming Chyi Huang, Chuan Hsun Yu, Chun Tse Chen, Chiao Chicy Chen, Winston W. Shen, Chun Hsin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: A higher prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUD) among psychiatric patients has been reported previously and the identification rate is relatively low. This study was designed to investigate the prevalence and identification of AUD among acute psychiatric inpatients with severe mental illness in a psychiatric hospital in Taiwan. Methods: In a two-phase case identification strategy, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used as the first phase screening tool and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR as the second phase diagnostic interview. The definition of identification was diagnosis of AUD on medical record at discharge. Results: Of 400 respondents, 42 screened positive and 358 screened negative. All screen-positive respondents and 35 screen-negative respondents entered the second phase interview. The weighted lifetime prevalence of alcohol dependence was 8.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.6-11.9%); alcohol abuse, 1.5% (95%CI: 0.2-2.8%); and AUD, 9.8% (95%CI: 5.7-13.8%). The overall identification rate of AUD by medical staff was 28.2% (0% for alcohol abuse and 33.3% for alcohol dependence). Patients with mood disorders were prone to being undetected as having AUD. Conclusion: AUD comorbidity was common among inpatients with severe mental illness in Taiwan and was easily neglected by medical staff. It is necessary to use a validated screening questionnaire, such as AUDIT, to detect high-risk patients and then give appropriate interventions to enhance treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Identification
  • Prevalence
  • Severe mental illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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