Psychometric Properties of the Malay Version of Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST-M)

Yee A, Salina M, Rusdi AR, Zahari MM, Sharmilla K


Background: The Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) developed by the World Health Organization is designed to identify individuals at risk for alcohol use problems and provide brief intervention.

Objectives: To evaluate the validity and reliability of the ASSIST in Malaysia’s official language, the Bahasa Malay, among a group of alcohol users. The study also aimed to assess the impact of alcohol on the quality of life of patients.

Methods: The final version of ASSIST-M was administered to 51 patients who were identified as alcohol users and attended the outpatient psychiatric clinic during a three-month period from September to November of 2012. Patients completed ASSIST, ASSIST-M, Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.), Malay version of The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-M), CAGE Assessment for Alcohol Abuse (CAGE), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale-Brief-Malay version (WHOQoL-Brief-M). Statistical procedures were performed to assess the reliability and validity of the ASSIST-M. 

Results: Factor analysis of ASSIST-M yielded one factor similar to the factor structure of the English version. The Cronbach’s α coefficient of ASSIST-M was 0.80. The parallel reliability of the ASSIST-M was high with the intra-class correlation (ICC) of 0.96 (P< 0.01). The test–retest reliability of the ASSIST-M after the 1-week interval was high with the ICC of 0.94(P< 0.01). The ASSIST-M was positively correlated with the AUDIT-M (r =0.67, p <0 .01) and the CAGE (r=0. 57, p < 0.01). ASSIST-M score showed a negative and statistically significant relationships with the physical (r= -0 .28, p < 0.01) and social relationship (r= -0.37, p<0.01) subscales of the WHOQoL-Brief-M. The optimal cutoff point for ASSIST-M for alcohol use disorder was more than 14 with the with a sensitivity of 84.21 %, specificity of 84.38 %, positive predictive value (PPV) of 76.19% and negative predictive value (NPV) of 90%.

Conclusions/Importance: The ASSIST-M displayed a fair psychometric performance in assessing alcohol use disorder in Malaysia.

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Alcohol dependence; ASSIST; ASSIST-M; M.I.N.I.; CAGE; WHOQoL

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