Validity evidence, sensibility and specificity of the severity dimension of the SDSS alcohol dependence scale


  • Antonio Vélez-Moreno Dpto. Psicología clínica, experimental y social. Universidad de Huelva
  • Óscar M. Lozano Dpto. Psicología clínica, experimental y social. Universidad de Huelva
  • Fermín Fernández-Calderón Dpto. Psicología clínica, experimental y social. Universidad de Huelva; Agencia de Servicios Sociales y Dependencia de Andalucía
  • Antonio J. Rojas Departamento de Psicología. Universidad de Almería
  • Pablo Sayans-Jiménez Departamento de Psicología. Universidad de Almería
  • Francisco González-Saiz Unidad de Salud Mental Comunitaria de Villamartín. Hospital de Salud Mental de Cádiz
  • Juan Ramírez López Servicio Provincial de Drogodependencias de Huelva


Severity dependence, Sensibility, Specificity, Validation, Alcohol dependence, Alcohol, SDSS


Objective. Therapeutic success in the treatment of alcohol use disorders highly depends on an appropriate diagnosis. The Substance Dependence Severity Scale –SDSS- is a scale that assesses substance dependence in dimensional terms and that follows the diagnostic criteria established by the international classification systems. The aim of this study is to provide validity evidence for the severity dimension of the alcohol dependence scale of the SDSS comparing it with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview –MINI-, and others variables related to substance use included in the EuropASI.

Methods. A total of 109 patients admitted for treatment in the Drug Abuse Center Services of Huelva who had used alcohol in the month previous to the interview participated. The SDSS, MINI and EuropASI were administered. The diagnostic capacity of the SDSS was assessed by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, taking the MINI dependence diagnosis as standard.

Results. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.917 (CI=0.867-0.968). The trade-off between parameters was detected for a score of 9, with suitable values of sensitivity and specificity (83.58% and 83.72%).

Conclusions. The results support the use of the SDSS for the diagnosis of alcohol dependence and for assessment the severity of dependence. Administration of this scale makes it possible to obtain information, with a single score, on how severe the disorder is and whether the dependence criteria have been met.



How to Cite

Vélez-Moreno, Antonio, et al. “Validity evidence, Sensibility and Specificity of the Severity Dimension of the SDSS alcohol dependence Scale”. Actas Españolas De Psiquiatría, vol. 43, no. 3, May 2015, pp. 99-108,