All of us who see children for primary care are likely to use a rating scale with parents and teachers to help us diagnose attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Yet how good is one rating scale compared to another? Chang et al. (10.1542/peds.2015-2749) share with us this week a systematic review comparing studies that looked at the diagnostic performance of the Child Behavior Checklist Attention Problem (CBCL-AP) scale and the Conners Rating Scale Revised (CRS-R). So which is better?
Well—that depends on what you are using the scales for—e.g. a quick screen or a more comprehensive assessment—but the bottom line is both are similar when it comes to their sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing ADHD. There is a lot more to learn from this well done review—and to help us make sense of the analysis of pooled sensitivities and specificities, behavioral and developmental pediatric specialist Dr. William (Bill) Barbaresi provides us with a commentary on this review that is an important read as well and discusses potential barriers that we must overcome to make sure we use one of these rating scales for patients in whom we have diagnostic concerns regarding ADHD.
Pay attention to both the review and the commentary and share your thoughts as to why you use the rating scale you use and whether that will change as a result of reading these two articles. You can respond directly to this blog, post a comment with the online version of the review, or share your briefer comments on our Facebook or Twitter links.