Systematic Review of the Measurement properties of Tools Used to Measure Behaviour Problems in Young Children with Autism

Jennifer Hanratty, Nuala Livingstone, Shannon Robalino, Caroline Terwee, Magdalena Glod, Inalegwu P Oona, Jacqui Rodgers, Geraldine Macdonald, Helen McConachie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
198 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Behaviour problems are common in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There are many different tools used to measure behavior problems but little is known about their validity for the population.

Objectives
To evaluate the measurement properties of behaviour problems tools used in evaluation of intervention or observational research studies with children with ASD up to the age of six years.

Methods
Behaviour measurement tools were identified as part of a larger, two stage, systematic review. First, sixteen major electronic databases, as well as grey literature and research registers were searched, and tools used listed and categorized. Second, using methodological filters, we searched for articles examining the measurement properties of the tools in use with young children with ASD in ERIC, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. The quality of these papers was then evaluated using the COSMIN checklist.

Results
We identified twelve tools which had been used to measure behaviour problems in young children with ASD, and fifteen studies which investigated the measurement properties of six of these tools. There was no evidence available for the remaining six tools. Two questionnaires were found to be the most robust in their measurement properties, the Child Behavior Checklist and the Home Situations Questionnaire—Pervasive Developmental Disorders version.

Conclusions
We found patchy evidence on reliability and validity, for only a few of the tools used to measure behaviour problems in young children with ASD. More systematic research is required on measurement properties of tools for use in this population, in particular to establish responsiveness to change which is essential in measurement of outcomes of intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0144649
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2015

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