The AUDIT test, a longer screening test, has been an extremely effective screening tool for many years. But, it takes too long to administer and score in most busy physician offices and emergency rooms. The FAST test was developed by taking four key questions from the AUDIT test and arranging them into a short, two-phase test.
When compared to the full AUDIT test, the FAST test detects 93 percent of hazardous drinkers detected by the longer version.
Shortest Test Available
Unlike the CAGE test, the FAST test measures a person’s hazardous drinking in the past year. The CAGE test is designed to test alcohol dependency over a lifetime.
More than half of patients given the FAST test only have to answer the first question. Depending on the response to the first question of the test, the other questions may not be asked at all, making the FAST test potentially the shortest screening tool available today.