Screening and Assessment in TANF\Welfare-to-Work: Ten Important Questions TANF Agencies and Their Partners Should Consider. Cage


Barriers Identified
Alcohol Use Problems (modified CAGE can be used for other drug use problems)

Number and Types of Questions
Four 'yes' or 'no' questions

Target Population
Adults and Youth

Methodological Information
Sources differ on the methodological assessment of the CAGE. Although one source reports the CAGE's sensitivity and specificity levels as acceptable (at cut-score of two affirmative responses, 75 percent of alcoholics are correctly identified as alcoholics and 95 percent of non-alcoholics are identified correctly), another source indicates that the reliability and validity have been demonstrated in clinical settings but are untested with a general population.2

The tool can be completed individually or as part of a group. It can be self-administered and self-reported or it can be conducted by a clinician. It takes approximately one minute to complete. It should be completed as part of the individuals general history. A total of two or more positive answers indicates a history of alcoholism.


Source or Publisher
Dr. John Ewing
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

State(s) Believed to be Using
Alabama, Kansas, New Jersey (CAGE aid), California, Utah, Minnesota,
New York (CAGE aid), Delaware (CAGE aid), Maryland (modified CAGE)

2  See Allen, JP, M.H. Eckardt, and J. Wallen. Screening for Alcoholism Techniques and Issues. Public Health Reports 103 586-592, 1988 and State of Virginia, Department of Human Services, undated.

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