The Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement (ACE) Screening Tool: a simple and brief questionnaire to screen for cognitive impairment in substance use disorder treatment services

Jamie Berry*, E. Arthur Shores, Jo Lunn, Antoinette Sedwell, Talia Nardo, Ashleigh Wesseling, Jennifer Batchelor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the test–retest reliability; construct and criterion validity; and test operating characteristics of a newly developed cognitive impairment risk factor screening instrument, the Alcohol and Drug Cognitive Enhancement (ACE) Screening Tool. Participants in the validation study were 129 adults with substance use disorder (SUD) enrolled in residential SUD treatment services and 209 normal controls. Test and retest data were available for 36 participants with SUD and 40 normal control individuals on the ACE Screening Tool. Test–retest reliability was excellent (ICC = 0.97). The ACE Screening Tool was significantly correlated with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning—Adult Version (BRIEF-A), Test of Premorbid Functioning (TOPF) and Five Point Test, establishing construct validity. Criterion validity was established using a ternary severity variable constructed using results obtained on the MoCA and BRIEF-A. Test operating characteristics analysis showed 93% sensitivity, 46% specificity, 33% positive predictive power, and 96% negative predictive power using a cut-score of >3. Those high levels of sensitivity and negative predictive power indicated that the tool would likely detect cognitive impairment when present and should therefore be considered suitable as an initial screening tool for cognitive impairment in individuals attending SUD services.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Neuropsychology:Adult
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • alcohol and drug
  • cognitive impairment
  • neuropsychology
  • reliability
  • screening
  • substance use disorder
  • validity

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