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The CAGE questionnaire, the name of which is an acronym of its four questions, is a widely used method of screening for alcoholism.

Two "yes" responses indicate that the respondent should be investigated further.

The questionnaire asks the following questions:

  1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  4. 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?[1][2]

The CAGE questionnaire, among other methods, has been extensively validated for use in identifying alcoholism.[3] CAGE is considered a validated screening technique, with one study determining that CAGE test scores >=2 had a sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 76% for the identification of problem drinkers. [4]

It is not valid for diagnosis of other substance use disorders, although somewhat modified versions of the CAGE are frequently implemented for such a purpose.

See also


  1. Ewing, John A. “Detecting Alcoholism: The CAGE Questionnaire” JAMA 252: 1905-1907, 1984
  2. CAGE Questionnaire (PDF)
  3. Kitchens JM (1994). "Does this patient have an alcohol problem?". JAMA 272 (22): 1782–7. doi:10.1001/jama.272.22.1782. PMID 7966928.
  4. 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.
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