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Practitioner Review: Clinical utility of the QbTest for the assessment and diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder – a systematic review and meta-analysis

Bellato, Alessio, Hall, Charlotte, Groom, Madeleine J., Simonoff, Emily, Thapar, Anita ORCID:, Hollis, Chris and Cortese, Samuele 2024. Practitioner Review: Clinical utility of the QbTest for the assessment and diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder – a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 65 (6) , pp. 845-861. 10.1111/jcpp.13901

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Background Several computerised cognitive tests (e.g. continuous performance test) have been developed to support the clinical assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Here, we appraised the evidence-base underpinning the use of one of these tests – the QbTest – in clinical practice, by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating its accuracy and clinical utility. Methods Based on a preregistered protocol (CRD42022377671), we searched PubMed, Medline, Ovid Embase, APA PsycINFO and Web of Science on 15th August 2022, with no language/type of document restrictions. We included studies reporting accuracy measures (e.g. sensitivity, specificity, or Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristics Curve, AUC) for QbTest in discriminating between people with and without DSM/ICD ADHD diagnosis. Risk of bias was assessed with the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies tool (QUADAS-2). A generic inverse variance meta-analysis was conducted on AUC scores. Pooled sensitivity and specificity were calculated using a random-effects bivariate model in R. Results We included 15 studies (2,058 participants; 48.6% with ADHD). QbTest Total scores showed acceptable, rather than good, sensitivity (0.78 [95% confidence interval: 0.69; 0.85]) and specificity (0.70 [0.57; 0.81]), while subscales showed low-to-moderate sensitivity (ranging from 0.48 [0.35; 0.61] to 0.65 [0.52; 0.75]) and moderate-to-good specificity (from 0.65 [0.48; 0.78] to 0.83 [0.60; 0.94]). Pooled AUC scores suggested moderate-to-acceptable discriminative ability (Q-Total: 0.72 [0.57; 0.87]; Q-Activity: 0.67 [0.58; 0.77); Q-Inattention: 0.66 [0.59; 0.72]; Q-Impulsivity: 0.59 [0.53; 0.64]). Conclusions When used on their own, QbTest scores available to clinicians are not sufficiently accurate in discriminating between ADHD and non-ADHD clinical cases. Therefore, the QbTest should not be used as stand-alone screening or diagnostic tool, or as a triage system for accepting individuals on the waiting-list for clinical services. However, when used as an adjunct to support a full clinical assessment, QbTest can produce efficiencies in the assessment pathway and reduce the time to diagnosis.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0021-9630
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 August 2023
Date of Acceptance: 13 August 2023
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 14:43

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