Objective: The Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) continuous performance
task (CPT) has adequate reliability and validity, according to
the publishers. Reportedly visual and auditory modalities increase diagnostic
accuracy of ADHD. According to the IVA manual, the symptomatic
Comprehension Scale is “the single most sensitive sub-scale in
discriminating ADHD.” However, there is limited support for the sensitivity
and specificity of the Comprehension Scale. The present study
examined if individuals with ADHD score lower on the Comprehension
Scale than those without ADHD.
Participants and Methods: IVA Comprehension scores from an archival
database were examined for 186 individuals who were referred for a
cognitive evaluation. Of those, 158 had complete and valid IVA profiles.
55 of those individuals were diagnosed with ADHD only. 82 had other
disorders, such as learning disorder or psychiatric disorder. 28 had comorbid
ADHD and another disorder. Results: An independent sample t-test found considerable overlap between
the means of the two groups for both visual (M = 77.85, SD =
32.95 and M = 89.75, SD = 27.06), t(102) = 2.61, p< .05 and auditory
subscales (M = 75.65, SD= 33.97 and M = 89.26, SD = 25.46), t(54)
= 2.31, p< .05. Analysis of sensitivity and specificity revealed that the
use of a cutoff score of 75 for classification was the most accurate. Using
this cutoff, the sensitivity of the Comprehension Scale of 116 individuals
with ADHD with/without other psychiatric disorders was approximately
.54 and specificity .20. Around .26 of individuals could not
be classified according to the 75 cutoff score due to significant variance
in visual and auditory subscales.
Conclusions: The Comprehension Scale did not adequately discriminate
between individuals with ADHD. Comprehension errors may be reflective
of keyADHDsymptomology. However, more research is needed in order to
enhance its clinical utility. Future analyses will compare the Comprehension
Scale scores separately for those with and without comorbid disorders.