ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This study was supported by the Lindhaga Foundation, Bror Gadelius minnesfond, the Council for Research in Health and Clinical Care in Southern Sweden, the Swedish Psychiatry Foundation, the Lindgrens Foundation, Skanska, the Sven Jerring Foundation, the König-Söderströmska Sjukhemmet Foundation, and the Region of Skåne (FoUU).
Reliability and validity of the assessment of neurological soft-signs in children with and without attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
© The Authors. Journal compilation © Mac Keith Press 2009
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 52, Issue 4, pages 364–370, April 2010
How to Cite
GUSTAFSSON, P., SVEDIN, C. G., ERICSSON, I., LINDÉN, C., KARLSSON, M. K. and THERNLUND, G. (2010), Reliability and validity of the assessment of neurological soft-signs in children with and without attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 52: 364–370. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2009.03407.x
- Issue published online: 4 MAR 2010
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
- PUBLICATION DATA Accepted for publication 15th May 2009. Published online 20 August 2009.
Aim To study the value and reliability of an examination of neurological soft-signs, often used in Sweden, in the assessment of children with attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), by examining children with and without ADHD, as diagnosed by an experienced clinician using the DSM-III-R.
Method We have examined interrater reliability (26 males, nine females; age range 5y 6mo–11y), internal consistency (94 males, 43 females; age range 5y 6mo–11y), test–retest reliability (12 males, eight females; age range 6–9y), and validity (79 males, 33 females; age range 5y 6mo–9y).
Results The sum of the scores for the items on the examination had good interrater reliability (intraclass correlation [ICC] 0.95) and acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha 0.76). The test–retest study also showed good reliability (ICC 0.91). There were modest associations between the examination and the assessment of motor function made by the physical education teacher (ICC 0.37) as well as from the parents’ description (ICC 0.39). The examination of neurological soft-signs had a sensitivity of 0.80 and a specificity of 0.76 in predicting motor problems as evaluated by the physical education teacher.
Interpretation The reliability and validity of this examination seem to be good and can be recommended for clinical practice and research.