Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)

Looking to screen your patient for potential alcohol use disorders? Then use the Michigan Alcohol Screen Test (MAST) to do so and help determine what to do for your patient!

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What is the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)?

The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) is one of the alcohol screening tests that are widely used by healthcare professionals. It is also one of the oldest tests since it was developed back in the 1970s. This test aims to check if a person is at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder (AUD) or if they have the signs indicating they already have one..

The MAST Test comes in the form of a questionnaire with twenty-five items. These questions focus on the different aspects of a person’s life related to alcohol, such as how often they drink, how much they drink, what happens to them after drinking a lot of alcohol, and if their drinking has impacted aspects of their life, especially their relationships.

Now, twenty-five questions may bsound like a lot, but the questions are simple and straightforward, so it should not take a lot of time to answer them.

Printable Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)

Download this Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) to evaluate your client’s feelings of hopelessness.

How to use the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)

Administer the test!

Given that the test is a questionnaire, there are two ways you can administer it. You can either conduct it like an interview and jot down their answers yourself, or you can hand the patient a copy of the test, have them answer it on their own, and return it to you as soon as they are done.

Whichever you choose, the patient will simply need to answer each question with a YES or NO. Easy, right?

Calculate the total score.

The scoring for each section is not standardized. Some answers will score 0, while some will score 1 or 2. There are also questions that ask about certain incidents and how many times those incidents occurred, and for every time that they happened, there will be an additional 2 points.

This version of the MAST Screening Tool includes the assigned points per answer for the convenience of assessors.

Determine the severity and the next steps.

Once you have calculated the total score, here are the points that you need to consider:

  • If the patient scores 0-3, they are pretty much normal
  • Scoring a 4 is suggestive
  • Scoring 5 or more indicates the probability that they are alcoholic substance abusers
  • If they score 8 or more, that means the likelihood that they are abusing and are dependent on alcohol is higher

Now, this MAST Assessment is not a diagnostic tool, so the next steps for you to take will depend on the score.

If they scored 0-4, educating them on the matter should suffice. But if they score 5 or more, then the best course of action is to recommend them to a rehabilitation and addiction specialist for further (and comprehensive!) examination to confirm the diagnosis and to better define the severity of their (potential) disorder.

After they undergo further examination from an expert, it’s likely that a treatment plan will be developed for them. As to what their treatment plan entails, that will depend on the specialist’s assessment. They might have to go to therapy (individual or group), go through a rehabilitation program, or be prescribed medication to assist with curbing the alcohol use disorder.

Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) Example

Now that you are aware of what the MAST Test is and how it is used, it is best that you know what it looks like, especially when it is fully-accomplished by you or the patient. Here is a fully-answered Michigan Alcohol Screening Test sample:

Please note that the answers in this sample were picked with a fictional person in mind for demonstration purposes. If you like what you see here and if you believe that it will be beneficial to your work, feel free to download a printable MAST Screening Tool via our platform! It also comes with editable portions to indicate the answers, so if you would rather go paperless for your practice, you can opt to use this digitally!

Download this Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) Example (Sample) here:

Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) Example

When does one typically administer the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)?

If you are wondering when it is best to administer this test, well, that depends on the context and who is using it.

Let’s say that you are not a healthcare professional and you stumble upon this because you are concerned that you might be developing an addiction to alcohol, then you should definitely take the test yourself and self-report if the scores suggest that you are at risk of developing an alcohol use disorder.

In relation to that, if you are a healthcare professional and someone self-reports themselves to you or is brought by a relative or companion because of suspected alcohol addiction and dependence, then issue this test immediately. The earlier that this test is administered, the better.

This test is also sometimes administered as part of a comprehensive examination. Alcohol use disorder might be part of a much bigger problem, so if professionals are treating a patient for a certain problem, and they suspect that alcohol has some connection to it, this can be used in order to get a more informed opinion.

Who can use the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) and for whom is it?

The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) can be used by numerous healthcare professionals, including the following:

  • Rehabilitation specialists
  • Addiction specialists

Earlier, we mentioned that alcohol use disorder may not exactly be isolated cases but can in fact be part of a much bigger problem, so the following professionals may also use this test:

  • Primary care physicians
  • Nurses
  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists

As long as alcohol is contributing to the deterioration of a person’s condition, physical and/or mental, this can be used.

This is ultimately for the benefit of the patient because this test will determine if they need to undergo a more comprehensive examination to get an official diagnosis. If they are diagnosed with an AUD, then the physicians handling the patient will work on a treatment plan and rehabilitation program for the patient in order to detoxify them and whittle down their addiction until it’s completely gone.

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What are the benefits of using the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST)

It’s easy to use and quick to answer!

This test is easy to administer because of its questionnaire format. Even if there are twenty-five questions to answer, the questionnaire does not ask for more than a YES or NO answer, other than a number of times certain incidents happened in relation to the patient’s use of alcohol.

It can, more or less, be accomplished within ten minutes!

It can help curb the potential alcohol use disorder early!

Since this is a screening tool, the test has the potential to detect the early signs of alcohol addiction and dependence. Once you receive a fully-accomplished test and the patient scored something higher than 5, high enough to say that they are definitely at risk for an AUD but not high enough to say that the signs are bad, then you can recommend them to a specialist immediately to have them evaluated, diagnosed, and treated before the signs worsen.

Specialists who handle them after you will be better prepared.

The next significant step after this test is to recommend the patient to a specialist for further examination to get an official diagnosis. The answers, even if they are simply YES or NO answers, should serve as preliminary information that help with the comprehensive examination of the patient and may help the specialists develop tailor-fitted treatment plans for said patient.

Commonly asked questions

’m not a healthcare professional. Despite that, am I allowed to use this to check on myself because I suspect I am developing an addiction to alcohol?

First of all, if you are acknowledging that you are developing an addiction to alcohol, that is good! And yes, you may use this to check on yourself. But in the event that you receive a score that indicates that you do have signs of developing or having an alcohol use disorder, please report this to a professional so you can get diagnosed and receive treatment.

How come I have to pass on the patient to a specialist?

Well, if you happen to be a rehabilitation and/or addiction specialist, then you don’t really have to pass them on and can work on conducting further examinations. But if you are not a rehabilitation or addiction specialist, then you are advised to recommend the patient to a specialist that can make an official diagnosis. The MAST Test is a screening tool, not a diagnostic tool.

There aren’t any score ranges and specific designations compared to other screening tools. Is it safe to trust the general designations stated earlier in this guide?

Yes. Other than looking at the total score, you may refer to specific answers to get a good grasp of the patient. There are questions like the following:

  • Have you ever been in a hospital because of drinking?
  • Have you ever lost a job because of your drinking?
  • Have you ever been arrested for drunk driving, driving while intoxicated, or driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs? How many times?

If they answered yes to the aforementioned questions and they even indicated how many times they got arrested because of alcohol abuse, those are obviously causes for concern. Even if they scored lower than a good number of other alcoholic patients you have, that does not necessarily mean they are better off than the other patients.

Why use Carepatron for rehabilitation-related software?

If you are an addiction specialist or someone working in rehab, then you would be delighted to know that Carepatron is a wonderful platform that will help streamline your work!

By using our platform, you will be granted access to a wide variety of worksheets, assessments, surveys, and even general treatment plan templates that will help you examine and treat your patients from a more comprehensive angle. The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) is but one of many alcohol use disorder screening tools that we have that can help you assess patients that are suspected of having an AUD.

If you decide to use the MAST Screening Tool alongside others like the AUDIT Screening Tool, you will be able to cover more ground when dealing with your patient, especially if you combine your findings with other results from other worksheets, assessments, etc.

Using Carepatron will also grant you access to a highly-secure storage system that allows you to store your clinical documentation in a HIPAA-compliant manner, plus, you get to choose who gets to access these documents besides you!

Fully-accomplished MAST Tests can also be stored here. We highly recommend doing so because you are essentially making digital backups of these tests. Having these at the ready is good, especially if you are monitoring your patient and want to see how far they have come (or not, but hopefully, they are getting better).

Storing them through us makes your documents easily accessible. What we mean by easily accessible is that you can use any capable device, whether its a desktop, a laptop, or even a smartphone, to access the documents that you stored so long as you have internet access.

Convenience. Accessibility. Security. You get all three with Carepatron.

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’m not a healthcare professional. Despite that, am I allowed to use this to check on myself because I suspect I am developing an addiction to alcohol?
’m not a healthcare professional. Despite that, am I allowed to use this to check on myself because I suspect I am developing an addiction to alcohol?
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