Psychiatric telephone interview with parents for screening of childhood autism - Tics, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other comorbidities (A-TAC): Preliminary reliability and validity

University of Gothenburg, Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
The British Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.99). 10/2005; 187:262-7. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.187.3.262
Source: PubMed


Reliable, valid and easily administered screening instruments would greatly facilitate large-scale neuropsychiatric research.
To test a parent telephone interview focused on autism - tics, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other comorbidities (A-TAC).
Parents of 84 children in contact with a child neuropsychiatric clinic and 27 control children were interviewed. Validity and interrater and test - retest reliability were assessed.
Interrater and test - retest reliability were very good. Areas under receiver operating characteristics curves between interview scores and clinical diagnoses were around 0.90 for ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders, and above 0.70 for tics, learning disorders and developmental coordination disorder. Using optimal cut-off scores for autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD, good to excellent kappa levels for interviews and clinical diagnoses were noted.
The A-TAC appears to be a reliable and valid instrument for identifying autistic spectrum disorder, ADHD, tics, learning disorders and developmental coordination disorder.

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Available from: Maria Rastam, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "Defined modules can be clustered into domains corresponding to the main problem areas of specific diagnoses, for example the concentration/attention and impulsiveness/activity modules form the ADHD domain, while the modules language, social interaction, and flexibility form the ASD domain. The psychometric properties of the ADHD and ASD domains have been described and validated (Hansson et al., 2005; Larson et al., 2010) and found to have excellent predictive properties, with areas under the curve (AUC) of 0.94 for ADHD and 0.96 for ASD. For screening purposes, the cutoffs of ≥6.0 (of the maximum 19 points) for ADHD and ≥4.5 (of the maximum 17 points) for ASD were previously defined, validated, and described to have excellent or good sensitivity and specificity (0.91 and 0.73 respectively for ADHD and 0.91 and 0.80 for ASD; Larson et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Over the last few decades, an increasing number of studies have suggested a connection between neurodevelopmental problems (NDPs) and body mass index (BMI). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) both seem to carry an increased risk for developing extreme BMI. However, the results are inconsistent, and there have been only a few studies of the general population of children. Aims. We had three aims with the present study: (1) to define the prevalence of extreme (low or high) BMI in the group of children with ADHD and/or ASDs compared to the group of children without these NDPs; (2) to analyze whether extreme BMI is associated with the subdomains within the diagnostic categories of ADHD or ASD; and (3) to investigate the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to BMI in boys and girls at ages 9 and 12. Method. Parents of 9- or 12-year-old twins (n = 12,496) were interviewed using the Autism-Tics, ADHD and other Comorbidities (A-TAC) inventory as part of the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS). Univariate and multivariate generalized estimated equation models were used to analyze associations between extremes in BMI and NDPs. Results. ADHD screen-positive cases followed BMI distributions similar to those of children without ADHD or ASD. Significant association was found between ADHD and BMI only among 12-year-old girls, where the inattention subdomain of ADHD was significantly associated with the high extreme BMI. ASD scores were associated with both the low and the high extremes of BMI. Compared to children without ADHD or ASD, the prevalence of ASD screen-positive cases was three times greater in the high extreme BMI group and double as much in the low extreme BMI group. Stereotyped and repetitive behaviors were significantly associated with high extreme BMIs. Conclusion. Children with ASD, with or without coexisting ADHD, are more prone to have low or high extreme BMIs than children without ADHD or ASD.
    PeerJ 07/2015; 3(6):e1024. DOI:10.7717/peerj.1024 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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    • "Higher scores indicate more autistic traits. Two validation studies showed that A- TAC is a sensitive tool to screen for autism spectrum disorders (Hansson et al. 2005; Larson et al. 2010). Cut-offs to yield proxies for autistic traits within the borderline or clinical range (at 4.5 points that correspond to the highest possible cut-off that yielded a sensitivity ≥0.95) and within the clinical range (at 8.5 points that correspond to the lowest cut-off that yielded a specificity ≥0.95) were established (Anckarsäter et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to air pollutants has been suggested as a possible etiologic factor for the occurrence of autism spectrum disorder. To assess whether prenatal air pollution exposure is associated with childhood autistic traits in the general population. Collaborative study of four European population-based birth/child cohorts -CATSS (Sweden), GENERATION R (the Netherlands), GASPII (Italy), and INMA (Spain). Nitrogen oxides (NO2, NOx) and particulate matter (PM) with diameters of <2.5 µm (PM2.5), <10 µm (PM10), and between 2.5-10 µm (PMcoarse) and PM2.5 absorbance- were estimated for birth addresses by land-use regression models based on monitoring campaigns performed between 2008 and 2011. Levels were extrapolated back in time to exact pregnancy periods. Autistic traits were assessed between four and ten years of age using quantitative assessments. Children were classified with autistic traits within the borderline/clinical range and within the clinical range using validated cut-offs. Adjusted cohort-specific effect estimates were combined using random-effects meta-analysis. A total of 8,079 children were included. Prenatal air pollution exposure was not associated with autistic traits within the borderline/clinical range (OR = 0.94; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.10 per each increase by 10 µg/m(3) in NO2 pregnancy levels). Similar results were observed in the different cohorts, for the other pollutants, and assessing children with autistic traits within the clinical range or children with autistic traits as a quantitative score. Prenatal exposure to NO2 and PM was not associated with autistic traits in children from four to ten years of age in four European population-based birth/child cohort studies.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 06/2015; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408483 · 7.98 Impact Factor
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    • "), which is designed for large-scale epidemiological research as an easy-to-administer, dimensional, and comprehensive interview for administration by lay persons over the phone. The A-TAC covers 96 specific child psychiatric symptoms, such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, and the instrument has high reliability and validity (Hansson et al., 2005; Larson et al., 2010). ADHD was assessed using 181 items corresponding to the specific DSM-IV symptom criteria using three response categories: 'no' (0), 'yes, to some extent' (0.5), and 'yes' (1.0). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Studies have found an association between low birth weight and ADHD, but the nature of this relation is unclear. First, it is uncertain whether birth weight is associated with both of the ADHD dimensions, inattentiveness and hyperactivity-impulsivity. Second, it remains uncertain whether the association between birth weight and ADHD symptom severity is confounded by familial factors.Method Parents of all Swedish 9- and 12-year-old twins born between 1992 and 2000 were interviewed for DSM-IV inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms by the Autism – Tics, AD/HD and other Comorbidities (A-TAC) inventory (N = 21,775 twins). Birth weight was collected prospectively through the Medical Birth Registry. We used a within-twin pair design to control for genetic and shared environmental factors.ResultsReduced birth weight was significantly associated with a mean increase in total ADHD (β = −.42; 95% CI: −.53, −.30), inattentive (β = −.26; 95% CI: −.33, −.19), and hyperactive-impulsive (β = −.16; 95% CI: −.22, −.10) symptom severity. These results imply that a change of one kilogram of birth weight corresponded to parents rating their child nearly one unit higher (going from “no” to “yes, to some extent” on a given symptom) on the total ADHD scale. These associations remained within pairs of MZ and DZ twins, and were also present when restricting the analyses to full term births.Conclusions There is an independent association between low birth weight and all forms of ADHD symptoms, even after controlling for all environmental and genetic confounds shared within twin pairs. These results indicate that fetal growth restriction (as reflected in birth weight differences within twin pairs) and/or the environmental factors which influence it is in the casual pathway leading to ADHD.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 07/2014; 56(4). DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12299 · 6.46 Impact Factor
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