Screening for hazardous drinking using the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test-Geriatric version (MAST-G) in elderly persons with acute cerebrovascular accidents

Doug Johnson-Greene, Mary E. McCaul, Patricia Roger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Effective and valid screening methods are needed to identify hazardous drinking in elderly persons with new onset acute medical illness. The goal of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test-Geriatric Version (MAST-G) in identifying hazardous drinking among elderly patients with acute cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) and to compare the effectiveness of 2 shorter versions of the MAST-G with the full instrument. Methods: The study sample included 100 men and women who averaged 12 days posthemorrhagic or ischemic CVA admitted to a rehabilitation unit and who were at least 50 years of age and free of substance use other than alcohol. This cross-sectional validation study compared the 24-item full MAST-G, the 10-item Short MAST-G (SMAST-G), and a 2-item regression analysis derived Mini MAST-G (MMAST-G) to the reference standard of hazardous drinking during the past 3 months. Alcohol use was collected using the Timeline Followback (TLFB). Recent and lifetime alcohol-related consequences were collected using the Short Inventory of Problems (SIP). Results: Nearly one-third (28%) of the study sample met the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for hazardous drinking. Moderately strong associations were found for the MAST-G, SMAST-G, and MMAST-G with alcohol quantity and frequency and recent and lifetime alcohol consequences. All 3 MAST-G versions could differentiate hazardous from nonhazardous drinkers and had nearly identical area under the curve characteristics. Comparable sensitivity was found across the 3 MAST-G measures. The optimal screening threshold for hazardous drinking was 5 for the MAST-G, 2 for the SMAST-G, and 1 for the MMAST-G. Conclusions: The 10-item SMAST-G and 2-item MMAST-G are brief screening tests that show comparable effectiveness in detecting hazardous drinking in elderly patients with acute CVA compared with the full 24-item MAST-G. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1561
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebrovascular accidents
  • Elderly
  • Hazardous drinking
  • MAST-G
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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