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Do parental reports of child hyperkinetic disorder symptoms at school predict teacher ratings?

[journal article]

Sayal, Kapil; Goodman, Robert

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Abstract Background: Clinical practice guidelines for the evaluation of children with suspected hyperkinetic disorder or ADHD recommend that information is collected from teachers. Methods: Using the development and well-being assessment, parents of 5–16 year olds participating in the 1999 and 2004 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys were asked about symptoms relating to hyperkinetic disorder and reports of teacher complaints about these symptoms. We examined whether parental reports about symptoms at school reflect teacher ratings and can be relied upon by clinicians. Results: Parent reports about symptoms at school were moderately correlated with teacher ratings. If children potentially met criteria for hyperkinetic disorder based on parental ratings only, the positive predictive value (PPV) for a research diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder was 47%. When parents reported high levels of symptoms at school in addition to sufficient parent-rated symptoms and impairment, the PPV for a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder increased to 59%. Conclusions: In a community sample, we found that parental reports about symptoms at school have limited utility in predicting teacher ratings. Our findings highlight that it is desirable and worthwhile for clinicians to obtain direct information from the teacher. If this is unavailable, clinicians and researchers should be aware that “second-hand” information about symptoms at school is second best.
Classification Psychological Testing, Psychological Counseling, Psychological Methodology; Psychological Disorders, Mental Health Treatment and Prevention
Free Keywords hyperkinetic disorder; ADHD; symptoms; parent; teacher
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 336-344
Journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 18 (2009) 6
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)