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Diagnostic efficiency of the SDQ for parents to identify ADHD in the UK: a ROC analysis

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number9
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)949-957
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date14/01/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


BackgroundEarly, accurate identification of ADHD would improve outcomes while avoiding unnecessary medication exposure for non-ADHD youths, but is challenging, especially in primary care.The aim of this paper is to test the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) using a nationally representative sample to develop scoring weights for clinical use.

MethodThe British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey (N=18,232 youths 5 to 15 years old) included semi-structured interview DSM-IV diagnoses and parent-rated SDQ scores.

ResultsAreas Under the Curve (AUCs) for SDQ subscales were good (0.81) to excellent (0.96) across sex and age groups. Hyperactive/Impulsive scores of 10+ increased odds of ADHD by 21.3x. For discriminating ADHD from other diagnoses, accuracy was fair (<0.70) to good (0.88); Hyperactive/Impulsive scores of 10+ increased odds of ADHD by 4.47x.

ConclusionsThe SDQ is free, easy to score, and provides clinically meaningful changes in odds of ADHD that can guide clinical decision-making in an evidence based medicine framework.

Bibliographic note

© The Author(s) 2016. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com