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Validating the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) in a clinical population with high-functioning autism [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]

Coscini, N; Srinivasan, R; Skuse, D; (2020) Validating the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) in a clinical population with high-functioning autism [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research , 9 , Article 622. 10.12688/f1000research.24409.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: With increasing numbers of referrals to health services for assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) has been suggested as a useful screening instrument to assist in prioritising patients for review. It is an online interview for parents that has been previously validated for ASD in a non-clinical community sample of twins. Our study aimed to evaluate its predictive validity in a complex clinically-referred sample of children with suspected high-functioning autism. / Methods: The sample comprised 136 children (females = 53; males = 83) who were referred for ASD assessment at the Social Communication Disorder Clinic (SCDC) at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Parents completed the DAWBA online prior to undergoing a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) assessment. This included completing the Developmental, Dimensional and Diagnostic Interview (3di) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). Two clinicians independently rated the DAWBA using DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and compared results to the MDT outcome, which was considered gold standard. / Results: Compared with an MDT assessment, the DAWBA interview demonstrated good sensitivity (0.91) but poor specificity (0.12). Overall, 64% of cases were accurately assigned as case/non-case. Estimates of positive (0.66) and negative (0.43) predictive validity were influenced by the relatively high prevalence of ASD in the study sample (65%). / Conclusion: The DAWBA online interview has excellent sensitivity in a clinical population of complex neurodevelopmental disorders, containing a high prevalence of ASD, but specificity was poor. As the SCDC offers tertiary opinions on disputed cases of suspected ASD, the population cohort limits the generalisability of these results. Further evaluation is required in community child mental health or paediatric services.

Type: Article
Title: Validating the Developmental and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) in a clinical population with high-functioning autism [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.24409.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.24409.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 Coscini N et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, assessment, validity, sensitivity and specificity, social communication disorder, screening instrument
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102813
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