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Diagnostic Accuracy of Computer based Tests for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Receiver-Operating Characteristic Analysis

Keywords: ADHD , attention , computer based test battery , children

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Abstract:

Objectives: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral diagnosis affecting children today. Guidelines of child psychiatry encourage clinicians to employ clinical interviews and questionnaires, learning and performance tests and behavior observation in making the diagnosis. Special attention tests can be conducted additionally. Computer-based attention tests constitute a promising method to do so as they appeal to children. In clinical practise in Germany two test batteries are commonly used: “Testbatterie zur Aufmerksamkeitsprüfung” (TAP) and “Testbatterie zur Aufmerksamkeitsprüfung für Kinder” (KITAP). The latter having been adapted to the motivational needs of children. This study aims at examining the diagnostic accuracy of the TAP and KITAP. Methods: ROC-analysis of TAP- and KITAP parameters and logistic regressions were conducted in a sample of 24 children with and without ADHD. Results: Both TAP and KITAP proved to differentiate between children with and without ADHD. TAP parameters possessed a higher discriminating power for ADHD. In logistic regression analysis TAP parameters led to an amount of variance of 32.5% (KITAP: 21.6%) and correct classification rate of 75% (KITAP: 72.9%). Adding KITAP parameters did not improve the amount of variance significantly whereas adding TAP parameters to the KITAP data did result in a significant increase. Conclusion: These findings suggest that TAP and KITAP could serve as useful additional test instruments to help identify cases likely to meet criteria for ADHD in clinical settings. For individual diagnosis TAP and KITAP lack cut-off criteria and substantial classification rates.

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