History of the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test
The MAST alcohol assessment quiz was developed in 1971 for the general population as a 25-question test initially. It can be self-administered or taken in interview format with a qualified interviewer. Since it was first created, it has been successful in identifying dependent drinkers with up to 98 percent accuracy. Other variations of the MAST screening test include a shortened version of 22 questions, such as the one on this page; the MAST-G (24 questions) and Short-MAST-G (10 questions) tools for geriatric clients; the 10-question Brief MAST screening; and the 13-question Short-MAST. The 22-question version and other condensed versions were created to provide a faster, accurate assessment for detecting alcoholism.
About the MAST Test Questions
Unlike other alcohol evaluation questions, the MAST assessment focuses primarily on past drinking and alcohol-related incidents, with no specificity of a time frame. It includes only a few questions about current alcohol habits and potential signs of addiction. This makes it less reliable in detecting early signs of alcoholism. The extent of the questions, however, provides many benefits that shorter tests don’t. One is that it allows for more open communication between the qualified interviewer (doctor, counselor, etc.) and interviewee. Questions in the MAST alcohol screening tool address self-evaluation of societal, occupational and family issues related to excessive drinking.
MAST Alcohol Test Scoring
All of the MAST alcohol screening tests are scored on a point scale system. Each response has a value attached to it. Scores of 0-2 indicate no apparent drinking problem. Scores of 3-5 designate a potential drinking problem. Scores of 6 or higher point to a high probability of alcohol abuse. Keep in mind that the results of the MAST alcohol screening test — or any alcohol quiz — are not intended as an official diagnosis. An official alcoholism diagnosis can only be made by a licensed professional. If anyone’s ever asked you, “Are you an alcoholic?” these 22 questions are the first step in finding out.
Buddy, T. “Michigan Alcohol Screening Test”. About.Com.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley. “Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST).”
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Shields, A.L.; Howell, R. T.; Potter, J.; Weiss, R. D. (2007). “The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test and Its Shortened Form: A Meta-Analytical Inquiry Into Score Reliability”. Substance Use and Misuse. 42 (11): 1783–1800.