Alcohol Withdrawal Assessment Tool: Validity and Reliability Testing in Acute Care

Carmen R. Davis, Alyson Keen, Vince Holly, Jean Balaguras, Wendy R. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose/Aims: The purpose of this study was to validate a tool to assess alcohol withdrawal in acute care patients. Study aims included (1) establish content validity, (2) examine criterion-related validity, (3) test interrater reliability, and (4) assess nurse usability. Design: A psychometric research study was designed to evaluate the Alcohol Withdrawal Assessment Tool. Methods: Validation was conducted using an expert panel to determine content validity. The Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol-Revised was used as comparison for the criterion related validity. Interrater reliability was determined by having 2 investigators simultaneously complete the assessment on the same patients. Usability was determined using a Likert scale survey. Results: The average age of participants was 53 years, with a range of 27 to 81 years. Interrater reliability was supported by a κ statistic range of 0.61 to 0.6957, and content validity was supported by a content validity index of 1.0. Criterion-related validity was supported with a Pearson r correlation of 0.665 (P <.000). Of nurses surveyed, all answered agree or strongly agree to the usability survey. Conclusions: The assessment tool may be an effective alternative to utilize in the acute care setting. It is easy to use and drives frequency of assessment and appropriate pharmacologic treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nurse Specialist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • alcohol withdrawal
  • alcohol withdrawal syndrome
  • assessment
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • LPN and LVN

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