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Psychometric properties of VEAN-Hi (Valoración del Espectro Autista para Hispanos), Autism Spectrum Assessment for Hispanic Children (ASA-HiCh) A free open access instrument

Author(s): Lilia Albores-Gallo, Jose Arturo Lopez-Figueroa, Omar Nafate-Lopez, Claudia Hilton, Yassel Flores-Rodriguez, Julio Moreno-Lopez

Introduction: Early intervention in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) improve prognosis. Although instruments can be translated, adapted and validated their performance is suboptimal compared to the original studies. The need to design culturally and context appropriate instruments for earlier assessment of Hispanic children with autism is urgent.

Methods: A validity study with a case control design with 70 ASD children and 16 children with Typical Development (TD) was performed. Autism diagnosis was confirmed with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime version (Kiddie SADS-PL/ASD- supplement) and the ADI-R.

Results: Internal consistency examined by Cronbach’s alpha for the 26 items of the total sample was α=0.81, p<0.01. The one-week test-retest reliability was 0.92, (95% CI 0.83 - 0.97), p<0.001. Using the criterion of ASD diagnosis vs. TD group a ROC curve (receiver operating characteristic) was constructed. With a cutoff of the Total ASA-HiCh score of 17, yielded an area under the curve of 0.84 (95% CI 0.74-0.94), sensitivity of 75.6 %, specificity of 87.5% and a positive predictive value of 93.9% and negative predictive value of 58.3%. For the K-SADS/ ASD classification diagnosis and the ASA-HiCh score 17 the kappa value was k= 0.60, p<0.01. For children <9 years-old Kappa coefficient was k=0.72, p<0.01, and for children <5 years-old k=0.87, p<0.01. In study 2 the kappa value for DSM-IV criteria was k=0.39, p<0.001, and for DSM-5 criteria was k=0.88, p<0.001. The medians for the total score of ASA-HiCh between ASD and TD groups, were analyzed by the Mann-Whitney U test, and were 34.51 and 14.88 respectively (U=102.0 Z -4.02, p=0.001).

Conclusion: The ASA-HiCh demonstrated good psychometric properties, future studies are necessary to determine the discriminant validity between ASD and other psychiatric disorders.

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