|Severity of Dependence Scale - Establishing a cut-off po ...|
Steiner, S., Baumeister, S. E. & Kraus, L. (2008). Severity of Dependence Scale - Establishing a cut-off point for cannabis dependence in the German adult population. Sucht, 54 (Sonderheft 1), S57-S63.
|Aims: The study aimed to validate the Severity of Dependence Scale (SDS) in a sample of 18 to 64 year-old cannabis users in Germany. Data of current cannabis users were analysed to determine an optimal cut-off point that discriminates between dependent and not dependent subjects. SDS scores were compared against DSM-IV diagnoses of cannabis dependence as gold standard.|
Method: Data came from the 2006 German Epidemiological Survey of Substance Abuse (ESA), the analytical sample consisted of 456 cannabis users. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to determine sensitivity, specificity, and an optimal cut-off. Subgroup analyses by gender and age were accomplished.
Results: Internal consistency (á=0.796) was high, Principal Com
ponents Analysis (PCA) resulted in a single factor solution and the total SDS score correlated significantly with DSM-IV cannabis dependence, number of DSM-IV criteria, consumption frequency within the past 12 months and the average number of joints smoked per day in the last 30 days. A cut-off point of two provided the best trade-off between sensitivity (93.6%) and specificity (74.0%). For male cannabis users a cut-off of four was found.
Conclusions: The findings indicate that the German version of the SDS is a brief, reliable and valid instrument for screening for cannabis dependence in the general population. The SDS is highly sensitive but will over-estimate the prevalence of cannabis dependence in epidemiological studies.