Common ADHD Scales Equally Accurate in Diagnosing Condition

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Both scales yield moderate sensitivity for diagnosing ADHD in children and adolescents.
Both scales yield moderate sensitivity for diagnosing ADHD in children and adolescents.

HealthDay News — The Child Behavior Checklist-Attention Problem (CBCL-AP) scale and Conners Rating Scale-Revised (CRS-R) yield moderate sensitivity for diagnosing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents, according to research published online in Pediatrics.

Ling-Yin Chang, PhD, from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and colleagues compared the diagnostic performance of CBCL-AP and CRS-R in diagnosing ADHD in children. Data were reviewed from 14 and 11 studies on CBCL-AP and CRS-R, respectively, conducted in pediatric populations, compared with a defined reference standard.

The researchers found that the pooled sensitivities were 0.77, 0.75, 0.72, and 0.83 for CBCL-AP, Conners Parent Rating Scale-Revised, Conners Teacher Rating Scale-Revised, and Conners Abbreviated Symptom Questionnaire (ASQ), respectively. The diagnostic performance of the various scales did not differ significantly. Heterogeneity in the specificity of the CBCL-AP was explained by study location, age of participants, and percentage of female participants.

"According to the comparable diagnostic performance of all examined scales, ASQ may be the most effective diagnostic tool in assessing ADHD because of its brevity and high diagnostic accuracy," the authors write. "CBCL is recommended for more comprehensive assessments."

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