Is the test of variables of attention reliable for the diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Nathanel Zelnik*, Odeya Bennett-Back, Wahib Miari, Helly R. Goez, Aviva Fattal-Valevski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is occasionally biased by the subjectivity of symptoms and reports of parents and teachers. The advent of continuous performance tests raised expectations that the diagnosis of ADHD will be more standardized and accurate. In this study, the authors looked for the validity of the ADHD scores obtained by the Test of Variables of Attention in 230 children who were referred to their ADHD clinic between 2005 and 2007. Based on clinical evaluations, 179 children were diagnosed with affirmed or suspected ADHD. Among the 179 children with ADHD, the Test of Variables of Attention was suggestive of ADHD in 163 participants (91.1% sensitivity), but it was also suggestive for ADHD in 78.4% of the children without ADHD. With a low specificity of 21.6%, the authors feel that the Test of Variables of Attention is not reliable enough to serve as a screening diagnostic tool for ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-707
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Test of Variables of Attention
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • continuous performance test

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