Diagnostic Implications of Informant Disagreement for Manic Symptoms

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Putnam Hall-South Campus, Stony Brook, New York 11794-8790, USA.
Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.93). 10/2011; 21(5):399-405. DOI: 10.1089/cap.2011.0007
Source: PubMed


This study examines diagnoses that occur in an outpatient sample when both parent and teacher endorse significant manic symptoms and when only a parent observes them. We hypothesized that the diagnosis of mania/bipolar (BP) disorder would occur when there is parent/teacher concordance on high mania symptom scores.
Subjects were 911 5-18-year-old psychiatrically diagnosed youths with caregiver and teacher completed Child Mania Rating Scales (CMRSs) and Achenbach parent and teacher forms. Parent-teacher concordance on the CMRS was defined as both informants ≥75 percentile on the CMRS; discordance on the CMRS was defined as parent ≥75 percentile and teacher ≤25 percentile. Logistic regression examined factors associated with a child's parent and teacher ratings concordant for high CMRS total scores.
Correlation between parent CMRS (CMRS-P) and teacher CMRS (CMRS-T) scores was r=0.27 (p<0.000). Correlation between the CMRS-P and the Child Behavior Checklist "bipolar/dysregulation" phenotype was r=0.757 and between the CMRS-T and Teacher Report Form "bipolar/dysregulation" phenotype was r=0.786. A total of 66 (7.3%) of the 911 children were diagnosed with BP I (n=20) or II (n=3) or BP disorder not otherwise specified (BPNOS, n=43). If the CMRS-P score was ≥15, 14.7% (vs. 4.4%) had any BP (odds ratio: 3.6; 95% confidence interval: 2.1, 6.2). Teacher agreement or disagreement did not add to diagnostic accuracy for students with BP I or II. BPNOS was more common in children with concordant high CMRS-P and CMRS-T ratings (10.5% vs. 4.8%) but the difference was not statistically significant. However, logistic regression indicated 10-fold greater odds of both parents and teachers, providing high CMRS ratings among children who were diagnosed with externalizing disorders (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, or any combination of these). Children with internalizing disorders (anxiety and depressive disorders) were 3.7 times more likely to have discordant CMRS-P/CMRS-T ratings.
Parent and teacher concordance on high mania rating scale scores was most associated with externalizing disorders, and discordance was most associated with internalizing disorders.

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Available from: Gabrielle A Carlson, Feb 10, 2014
    • "Lastly, best-estimate diagnoses were made based on diagnostic interviews of parent and child combined with teacher information (Leckman et al., 1982). Kappa values between the two child psychiatrists who did the majority of the evaluations ranged from 0.78 for depression to 1.0 for ADHD and bipolar disorder (Carlson &amp; Blader, 2011). For the purpose of this study, and in an effort to parallel the community study, loss of temper was defined by parent ratings of " often or very often " on the CASI item " often loses temper " from the ODD section; irritability was defined as " often or very often " on the CASI item " is irritable most of the day " from the depression section; the presence of actual tantrums was taken from the irritability inventory. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This study explores the relationship of irritability to tantrums and loss of temper in a community and clinical sample. Methods: The community sample, recruited via commercial mailing lists, consisted of 462 6-year-olds whose parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), and Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA). Tantrums were assessed in the oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) section of the PAPA. Irritability was assessed in the depression section to identify persistently irritable and/or angry mood. The clinic sample, drawn from a child psychiatry clinic, included 229 consecutively referred 6-year-olds from 2005 through 2014 whose parents completed the CBCL and Child and Adolescent Symptom Inventory (CASI). Temper loss and irritability items came from the ODD and depression sections of the CASI, and tantrum description was taken from an irritability inventory. Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) and the CBCL Dysregulation Profile were examined in both samples. Logistic and multiple regression were used to compare rates of diagnosis, CBCL subscales, CGAS, and tantrum quality between children with tantrums only and tantrums with irritability. Results: Almost half (45.9%) of clinic children had severe tantrums; only 23.8% of those were said to be irritable. In the community, 11% of children had tantrums, but 78.4% of those were called irritable. However, irritability in the clinic, although less common, was associated with aggressive tantrums and substantial impairment. In contrast, irritability was associated with only a relatively small increase in impairment in the community sample. Conclusions: Irritability may have different implications in community versus clinic samples, and tantrums assessed in the community may be qualitatively different from those seen in clinics.
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to examine how often clinicians judged youths or caregivers to not be credible informants, to identify the associated features of youth or caregiver credibility, and to examine credibility's impact on the validity of mood and behavior checklists. Clinicians often have the experience of talking to a parent or a youth and judging that the credibility of the information offered is unusually poor. Little is known about the correlates of poor credibility or about the extent to which credibility changes the validity of commonly used checklists. Interviewers rated the credibility of 646 youths aged 5-18 and their primary caregivers after completing a Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Ratings and diagnoses were blind to the behavior checklists completed by caregivers, youths, and teachers. A subset of youths also had intelligent quotient tests and behavioral observations available. Caregivers were perceived as more credible on average than youths, though this dropped sharply with adolescents. Caregiver credibility was higher for better functioning families, more credible youths, younger youths, and more educated caregivers; it was unrelated to caregiver mood symptoms or being the mother. Youth credibility was strongly connected to age, cognitive ability, caregiver credibility, and independent observations of youth behavior. Credibility ratings markedly altered the validity of checklists compared with interview ratings, diagnoses, or cross-informant criteria. Clinicians' judgments about informant credibility are associated with different characteristics for youths versus caregivers, though youth age is important to both. Credibility affects the validity of information from checklists measured against several different independent criteria.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology

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