European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 197–205 | Cite as

Influence of assessment instrument on ADHD diagnosis

  • Maj-Britt Posserud
  • Anne Karin Ullebø
  • Kerstin Jessica Plessen
  • Kjell Morten Stormark
  • Christopher Gillberg
  • Astri Johansen Lundervold
Original Contribution


We compared four instruments commonly used to screen for and diagnose Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. The Bergen Child Study included a DSM-IV ADHD symptom list and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) as screen in Phase one. Phase two included the parent Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA), whereas Phase three comprised in-depth clinical assessment, including the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children (K-SADS). We compared ADHD as diagnosed by the four instruments in the children with normal intellectual functioning participating in all three phases (N = 234). The DSM-IV ADHD symptom list showed moderate agreement with all other instruments (κ = 0.53–0.57), whereas there was fair agreement between the K-SADS-DAWBA (κ = 0.31) and between SDQ–DAWBA (κ = 0.33). The DAWBA diagnosed fewer children with ADHD than did the other instruments. Implications for use of the instruments are discussed.


ADHD  Assessment  Epidemiology  DAWBA  K-SADS  Agreement  SDQ 



We thank the Bergen Child Study research group that has worked together for many years, and whose joint effort has made the study possible. We are grateful to the support of the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Uni Health, for hosting the study for all these years. Thanks to Anna Spyrou for proof-reading the final manuscript. We also thank the Bergen City Council for collaborating to the study and allowing us to perform the study through the schools. But above all, we thank all the teachers, parents and children in Bergen, for participating in study. The present study was funded by the Western Regional Health Authorities, and the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare, Uni Health, Uni Research.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maj-Britt Posserud
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
    • 7
  • Anne Karin Ullebø
    • 4
  • Kerstin Jessica Plessen
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kjell Morten Stormark
    • 4
    • 8
  • Christopher Gillberg
    • 5
  • Astri Johansen Lundervold
    • 4
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  2. 2.Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Capital Region, Institute for Clinical MedicineUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  4. 4.Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Well-Fare, Uni Health, Uni ResearchBergenNorway
  5. 5.Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Department of Neuroscience and PhysiologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  6. 6.Department of Biological and Medical PsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  7. 7.K. G. Jebsen Center for Research on Neuropsychiatric DisordersBergenNorway
  8. 8.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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