Many alcohol withdrawal scoring tools are used in hospitalized patients to assess the severity of alcohol withdrawal and guide treatment. The revised Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment (CIWA-Ar) and the modified Minnesota Detoxification Scale (mMINDS) are commonly used but have never been correlated.


To determine the strength of correlation between the CIWA-Ar and mMINDS scoring tools in patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome.


A single-center, prospective correlation study conducted at a large academic medical center. Patients treated for alcohol withdrawal syndrome according to the Yale Alcohol Withdrawal Protocol were identified daily, and both the CIWA-Ar and mMINDS were administered at each time point required by the protocol. Clinical data were obtained from the electronic medical records.


A total of 185 CIWA-Ar and mMINDS scores were collected in 30 patients. The Pearson correlation coefficient across all scores was 0.82, indicating a strong correlation. The Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.87 for CIWA-Ar scores of 10 or less and 0.52 for CIWA-Ar scores above 10. Strong correlations were also shown for tremor (0.98), agitation (0.84), and orientation (0.87).


The correlation between the CIWA-Ar and mMINDS tools is strong and appears to be most robust in patients with CIWA-Ar scores of 10 or less.

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