The alcohol dependence section of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview questionnaire (MINI) has not been evaluated in young Africans. We applied the MINI in a cross-sectional study of 202 alcohol users from northern-Tanzania, aged 18–24 years (103 male casual workers and 99 students), and validated it against phophatidylethanol (PEth) at a cut-off suggesting heavy chronic alcohol use (≥0.30 µmol/L). Blood was assayed for PEth (16:0/18:1-subform) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The MINI dependence criteria (≥3 positive responses) were met by 39% participants although their PEth levels were low. Contrary, many young people with high PEth levels were not classified as dependent. The sensitivity of the MINI ranged from 0% to 69% (female students and male workers, respectively) and specificity from 52% to 85% (workers and female students, respectively). The highest AUROC (0.68) occurred with a cut-off of ≥4 positive responses. A modified MINI with three affirmative responses to five questions increased specificity to 92%–97%; however, sensitivity remained low. The performance of the MINI in detecting dependence among young people from northern-Tanzania is unsatisfactory. Specificity was improved using a modified version but sensitivity remained low. An accurate tool for the diagnosis of alcohol dependence is needed for epidemiological and clinical purposes.
Francis, J.M.; Helander, A.; Kapiga, S.H.; Weiss, H.A.; Grosskurth, H. Validation of the MINI (DSM IV) Tool for the Assessment of Alcohol Dependence among Young People in Northern Tanzania Using the Alcohol Biomarker Phosphatidylethanol (PEth). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2015) 12 (11) 14021-14033. [DOI: 10.3390/ijerph121114021]