Clinician assessment of psychiatric comorbidity and alcoholism severity in adult alcoholic inpatients

Michael A. Dawes, Stacy Frank, Kathryn Rost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Although psychiatric comorbidity and alcoholism severity are risk factors for poor outcomes in treating alcoholism, little is known about whether clinicians assess these conditions accurately. In this study we evaluated four clinicians' assessments of two indicators of alcoholism severity and three psychiatric comorbidities in 78 inpatients in their third to seventh day of hospitalization in alcohol treatment programs. Clinicians overestimated the number of days drinking in 28% of subjects, and the number of drinks per drinking day in 37% of subjects. Clinicians underestimated alcohol consumption for patients with higher incomes. Clinicians correctly diagnosed 67% of 18 subjects with antisocial personality disorder, 65% of 26 with major depression, and 89% of 28 with drug abuse. These preliminary results need to be replicated in larger samples of clinicians to determine whether interventions are needed to improve the recognition of important prognostic factors in the treatment of alcoholic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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