Objectives: To produce short versions of the child, adolescent, and adult AQ and the Q-CHAT to aid professionals in primary health care, social care, and education settings in their decision making about whether to make a referral for a specialist assessment for ASC.
Methods: Over 3000 control individuals (or their parents), and over 1000 cases (or their parents) completed one of the four questionnaires according to age. Self-report was accepted for individuals over 16 years old. Parent-report was required for those under age 16. Administration was via online or postal questionnaire. The proportion of participants who scored ASC positive on each item was compared on each questionnaire across cases and controls. The ten most discriminating items from each questionnaire were chosen. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves were examined for the short versions.
Results: Adults, adolescents, and children with ASC scored significantly higher (p < 0.001) than controls on each version of the 10 item AQ (AQ-10). The area under the ROC curve on all versions of the AQ-10 was > 0.96, representing excellent sensitivity and specificity. In the control groups, males scored significantly higher than females. Cut-points for referral for a multi-disciplinary assessment for ASC will be suggested for each tool. Q-CHAT data analysis is ongoing.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that short (10 item) versions of the AQ discriminate well between individuals with ASC and controls. Further, the 10-item versions of the AQ perform as well as the longer (50-item) versions. This study involved large samples and therefore results are likely to be robust. A limitation is that questionnaires were completed through online or postal testing. Evaluation of these ‘red flag’ guides will be conducted in primary care, social care and educational settings.
See more of: Epidemiology
See more of: Prevalence, Risk factors & Intervention