Individual experience of administering alcohol screening tools

Individual experience of administering alcohol screening tools

Paper details
  • Experiential Paper (due end of Week 3- June 8): Compose a 750-1000 word paper detailing the individual experience of administering 2 alcohol screening tools. The student will conduct a mock interview with a friend or family member using two of the following tools: Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, T-ACE, and/or Michigan Alcohol Screening Test.
  • Students will briefly describe the tools and describe their experience administering each tool including both the strengths, weaknesses, challenges with administering the tool, and suggestions to improve the tools.
  • Refer to the attached rubric for the grading criteria.

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Experiential Paper

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Experiential Paper

Identifying the suitable assessment tool to use when measuring alcohol abuse issues is difficult. Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) is an effective tool developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to assess unhealthy or hazardous consumption of alcohol (Sahker, Lancianese, & Arndt, 2017). The screening tool has 10 items that assess alcohol consumption, alcohol-related diseases, and drinking behaviors. Patients are often encouraged to answer the form. The audit has been translated to 40 languages to help people cease alcohol consumption and avoid the harmful consequences of alcohol (DrugAbuse.gov). On the other hand, the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test is one of the oldest screening tools used to accurately identify alcohol-related problems. It was initially developed to detect alcoholics. The test involves 25 items that assess the social, family, and vocational issues associated with heavy drinking. The MAST tool is self-appraisal, rapid, and effective. Knowing the right assessment tool to use is challenging (Minnich, Erford, Bardhoshi, & Atalay, 2018). Assessors should be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the tools when selecting the most appropriate one to use.

Experience in Administering Each Tool

Strengths and Weaknesses

Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test

`The screening tests can be used almost everywhere due to the translations to different languages. It breaks down language barriers to allowed me to understand and use it (DrugAbuse.gov). I did not have trouble translating the instructions to them during the assessments. As a result, I was able to use it effectively. The second strength is that the screening tool can be used in a variety of healthcare settings. This means that other healthcare professionals in different care settings and I can use the tools to assess for alcohol dependence and associated health issues. The third strength I experienced when using the tool is that everyone can use it. The instructions are clear and easy to understand (Sahker, Lancianese, & Arndt, 2017). Therefore, the assessment tool can be self-assessed and used by non-medical personnel. One weakness of the screening tool is that it is not clear whether the assessed individuals received the required interventions to help them overcome alcohol abuse. The second weakness is that the validity of the findings in real-world settings is unknown (Sahker, Lancianese, & Arndt, 2017). This means that the internal validity of the assessment may below, and I could not determine whether the responses given were indeed accurate.

Michigan Alcohol Screening Test

Minnich, Erford, Bardhoshi, and Atalay (2018) explain that MAST helps to identify issues that may cause alcohol dependence. The tool was easy to use when administering the questions to people. This is because the answers are simply yes and no. Unlike the AUDIT assessment, MAST has 25 questions that are able to address a wide range of alcohol-related issues that a person may be having over a patients’ lifetime. The tool is also fast to administer, even in the busiest settings. The min weakness is to identify the appropriate MAST assessment tool to use. They are varied due to the constant developments over the years.

Challenges of Administering the Tool

Even though people might respond to the questionnaires asked, there is no way of determining whether the answers given are accurate. Both the AUDIT and MAST assessment tools have no manner of showing that the answers are valid. There is no test to measure or determine whether a person is telling the truth or not. Honesty is a virtue that everyone does not readily embrace. It is even more challenging to gauge the honesty of the response if people are not willing to address their problem. On the other hand, unlike AUDIT, it is not clear whether MAST has been translated into other languages. Administering the questions to people who do not understand English may be problematic. The world is becoming more diverse. Interacting with many people has shown me that it is necessary to administer understandable questions. Additionally, assessors that are not culturally competent may not create a good rapport with the patients when administering the questions. They create conflicts and may elicit wrong interpretations.

Suggestions to Improve the Tools

Google Translate could be used to enable people to understand the questions without the need for a translator. This would enable assessors to know how to communicate appropriately with the patients while respecting them. Other online applications could be used to make the translations in enabling the assessors to communicate well with the patients. Similarly, MAST could be translated into different languages that will enable the assessors and interviewees to use. Second, Professionals should be trained adequately on cultural sensitivity. Cultural sensitivity will allow the assessors to avoid conflicts to elicit the right answers. This will also enable the participants to be keen and committed to providing the right responses to the questions asked. Third, professionals could add more questions that checks for the accuracy of the response given. They could also do follow-ups of the patients to determine whether the responses given are accurate or not. This will help them know whether to repeat the questions asked to gain more clarification or not. Finally, the assessment should clear any misunderstandings to enable healthcare professionals to apply the right intervention. It would be necessary for the assessment to be accurate for the appropriate intervention to be applied (Sahker, Lancianese, & Arndt, 2017).

Conclusion

Both tools are effective. However, developers should also work to improve the AUDIT and MAST tools to accommodate more questions that would provide interventions or recommendations to the individual with alcohol abuse problems. The assessment tools only identify issues and not the recommended interventions that address those problems. The suggestions given should be based on the severity and nature of the problem. For instance, those with severe alcohol abuse problems should have rehabilitations alongside therapies recommended to them.

References

DrugAbuse.gov. AUDIT. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/audit.pdf

Minnich, A., Erford, B. T., Bardhoshi, G., & Atalay, Z. (2018). Systematic review of the Michigan alcoholism screening test. Journal of Counseling & Development96(3), 335-344.

Sahker, E., Lancianese, D. A., & Arndt, S. (2017). Stability of the alcohol use disorders identification test in practical service settings. Substance abuse and rehabilitation8, 1.

 

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