Five-Shot Questionnaire Alcohol Screening Test

Doctor Taking Notes
Five-Shot Test Not Accurate As Others. © Getty Images

The five-shot questionnaire is another short, self-administered test, designed to be used in busy primary healthcare settings to recognize alcoholism in its early stages.

The five-shot test is composed of two questions from the AUDIT test and three questions from the CAGE test and is designed to be a shortened version of the AUDIT test which can be administered quickly in emergency rooms or busy doctors' offices.

The questionnaire is short and easy to score, but it is not as accurate as other available alcohol screening tests. The five-shot questionnaire incorrectly identifies "normal" drinkers as hazardous drinkers 24 percent of the time.

Take the Five-Shot Questionnaire

Points for each answer are posted next to the answer.

1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

(0.0) Never
(0.5) Monthly or less
(1.0) Two to four times a month
(1.5) Two to three times a week
(2.0) Four or more times a week

2. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?

(0.0) 1 or 2
(0.5) 3 or 4
(1.0) 5 or 6
(1.5) 7 to 9
(2.0) 10 or more

3. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?

(0.0) No
(1.0) Yes

4. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?

(0.0) No
(1.0) Yes

5. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?

(0.0) No
(1.0) Yes

A score of 2.5 or greater indicates possible alcohol misuse and the need for further evaluation. Contact your healthcare provider.

Short quizzes with very few questions to determine a patient's drinking level was designed to make a quick, initial evaluation in busy primary care offices where time constraints do not allow for a more lengthy, detailed evaluation.

If the results of the short test indicate a drinking problem, the patient is usually given another appointment for a more detailed evaluation or referred to a specialist or a treatment program for further evaluation.

1 Source
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  1. Seppä K, Lepistö J, Sillanaukee P. Five-shot questionnaire on heavy drinking. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998;22(8):1788-91. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.1998.tb03981.x

Additional Reading

By Buddy T
Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism.