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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    • "Neuropsychiatric problems in childhood. The Autism-Tics, ADHD and other Comorbidities (A-TAC) parental interview [Hansson et al., 2005; Larson et al., 2010, 2013] was used to screen for neuropsychiatric problems. A-TAC is a comprehensive parental telephone interview designed for epidemiological research and questions are worded to reflect DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and well-known clinical features. "
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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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    • "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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