Two "yes" responses indicate that the possibility of alcoholism should be investigated further.
The questionnaire asks the following questions:
- Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
- Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
- Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
- Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
The CAGE questionnaire, among other methods, has been extensively validated for use in identifying alcoholism. CAGE is considered a validated screening technique, with one study determining that CAGE test scores ≥2 had a specificity of 76% and a sensitivity of 93% for the identification of excessive drinking and a specificity of 77% and a sensitivity of 91% for the identification of alcoholism.
By far the most important question in the CAGE questionnaire is the use of a drink as an Eye Opener, so much so that some clinicians use a "yes" to this question alone as a positive to the questionnaire; this is because the use of an alcoholic drink as an Eye Opener connotes dependence since the patient is going through possible withdrawal in the morning, hence the need for a drink as an Eye Opener.
It is not valid for diagnosis of other substance use disorders, although somewhat modified versions of the CAGE questionnaire are frequently implemented for such a purpose.
- Paddington Alcohol Test
- AUDIT Questionnaire
- CRAFFT Screening Test
- Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire
- List of diagnostic classification and rating scales used in psychiatry
- Ewing, John A. “Detecting Alcoholism: The CAGE Questionnaire” JAMA 252: 1905-1907, 1984 PMID 6471323
- "CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool" (PDF). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Kitchens JM (1994). "Does this patient have an alcohol problem?". JAMA 272 (22): 1782–7. doi:10.1001/jama.272.22.1782. PMID 7966928.
- Bernadt, MW; Mumford, J; Taylor, C; Smith, B; Murray, RM (1982). "Comparison of questionnaire and laboratory tests in the detection of excessive drinking and alcoholism". Lancet 6 (8267): 325–8. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(82)91579-3. PMID 6120322.