Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Symptoms Screener (SAMISS)
What substances does this tool screen for?
Alcohol, drugs (the SAMISS uses the general term drugs, rather than specifying particular substances)
Is this tool appropriate to use with people with HIV?
Yes, the SAMISS was designed to identify substance use disorder and mental health conditions in people with HIV and has been validated within this population.
Who administers and scores the tool?
- A staff person or health care provider who has been trained to administer the SAMISS in a consistent manner, reading questions as written and not providing any additional information until after completion.
- Scoring should be completed by a trained staff person or healthcare provider.
Has this tool been validated?
Yes, the SAMISS tool has been evaluated for sensitivity and specificity against the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders for substance use and mental health conditions. While results vary, studies have found sensitivity and specificity of the substance use module to be 75% or higher, and the mental health condition module to have sensitivity as high as 95%, while the specificity was found to be 49%. A study found that the specificity of the mental health condition module decreased as the number of a person’s HIV-related symptoms increased.