Test–Retest Reliability of Alcohol Measures: Is There a Difference Between Internet-Based Assessment and Traditional Methods?

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This study compared Web-based assessment techniques with traditional paper-based methods of commonly used measures of alcohol use. Test–retest reliabilities were obtained, and tests of validity were conducted. A total of 255 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: paper-based (P&P), Web-based (Web), or Web-based with interruption (Web-I). Follow-up assessments 1 week later indicated reliabilities ranging from .59 to .93 within all measures and across all assessment methods. Significantly high test–retest reliability coefficients support the use of these measures for research and clinical applications. Furthermore, no significant differences were found between assessment techniques, suggesting that Web-based methods are a suitable alternative to more traditional methods. This cost-efficient alternative has the advantage of minimizing data collection and entry errors while increasing survey accessibility.

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