Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 139–148 | Cite as

Validity of Childhood Autism in the Danish Psychiatric Central Register: Findings from a Cohort Sample Born 1990–1999

  • Marlene B. LauritsenEmail author
  • Meta Jørgensen
  • Kreesten M. Madsen
  • Sanne Lemcke
  • Susanne Toft
  • Jakob Grove
  • Diana E. Schendel
  • Poul Thorsen
Original paper


The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of the diagnosis of childhood autism in the Danish Psychiatric Central Register (DPCR) by reviewing medical records from 499 of 504 total children with childhood autism born 1990–1999. Based on review of abstracted behaviors recorded in case records from child psychiatric hospitals, case status determination was performed using a standardized coding scheme. In 499 children diagnosed with childhood autism in the DPCR, the diagnosis could be confirmed in 469 children (94%). Of the 30 non-confirmed cases, five were classified by the reviewers as non-autistic cases and the remaining 25 cases were either classified with another ASD diagnosis or the specific diagnosis was not possible to determine.


Quality Validity Autism Diagnosis Population register 



This research study was supported by CDC and National Alliances of Autism Research (Now Autism Speaks). We are grateful to thank all the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric hospitals in Denmark for making this study possible as they have provided us access to the medical records of cases. Nancy Doernberg and Catherine E. Rice, PhD both at CDC are thanked for their invaluable participation in the process of adapting their method used in the population-based surveillance of ASDs for the purpose of our study. We also wish to thank the technical support group at NANEA for their important help in the process of making the database in which all the case information is included, in particular project coordinator Annette Bang Rasmussen, secretary Maja Andersen, IT programmer Kim Kristensen, and student programmer Thu Hang Nguyen, NANEA, for data management and programming. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marlene B. Lauritsen
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Meta Jørgensen
    • 2
  • Kreesten M. Madsen
    • 3
  • Sanne Lemcke
    • 1
  • Susanne Toft
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jakob Grove
    • 1
  • Diana E. Schendel
    • 4
  • Poul Thorsen
    • 1
  1. 1.NANEA at Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Institute of Public HealthUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Regional Centre for Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAarhus University HospitalRisskovDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Institute of Public HealthUniversity of AarhusAarhusDenmark
  4. 4.Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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