Objective. To examine psychometric properties of the PUM test for the assessment ofproblematic cannabis use among adolescents.
Method. The criterion standard for the test validity was a clinical diagnostic interview conducted by specialists trained in drug prevention and therapy. Respondents were reached in 58 randomly chosen Polish local communities by snowball sampling. A total of 1277 adolescents (36% female) aged 13 to 18 years, who used cannabis at least once in the past 12 months, participated in the study. The majority (89%) had no contacts with any drug-therapy facilities. Among respondents 49% were diagnosed as occasional users and 51% - as problematic users or addicts. A 24-item self-report questionnaire concerning drug use in the past 12 months was administered. Moreover, a diagnostic interview to assess the phase of cannabis use was conducted according to precise guidelines by trained therapists and prevention workers.
Results. Logistic regression analysis showed that 8 out of the basic set of 24 test items were most powerful in differentiating occasional and problematic users. A test score of 3 or higher was optimal for identifying problematic cannabis use (sensitivity - 0.81, specificity - 0.88 in the whole group of cannabis users, and sensitivity - 0.80, specificity - 0.94 in the sub-group of adolescents for whom cannabis was the first choice drug). Validity was not affected by age or sex.
Conclusions. The prognostic validity of the PUM test was examined in a large community sample. Satisfactory psychometric properties of the test allow to recommend it for use in different settings (e.g. outpatient and primary-care centres, schools) by youth specialists. However, evaluation of the test functioning in the process of intervention toward drug using adolescents is needed.