AIM: Valid instruments for the early identification of psychotic experiences (PE) and symptoms in youths are urgently needed for large-scale preventive interventions. A new section of The-Development-and-Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) measuring child self-reported PE has yet to be validated. The current study aimed to investigate the concurrent validity of DAWBA-based self-reported PE (PE-S) with regard to interview-based measures of PE (PE-I).
METHODS: Participants were 1571 (47.8% male) children of age 11 to 12 years from the Copenhagen Child Cohort 2000 (CCC2000) with complete data from both the online PE-section of DAWBA and the following face-to-face interview and assessment of PE. The DAWBA-PE-section asks the child 10 questions covering auditory and visual hallucinations, delusional ideas and subjective thought disturbances ever in life; and attributions to sleep, fever, illness or drug intake. The interview-based assessment of PE was performed by trained professionals using 22 items from The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children-Present and Lifetime Version (KSADS-PL). The two assessments were completed independently.
RESULTS: The prevalence of PE-S was 28.1% (24.3% for PE-S with no frequent attributions), compared with 10.2% for PE-I. The predictive values of PE-S for any PE-I were: sensitivity = 73.8%, specificity = 77.1%, positive predictive value (PPV) = 26.8% and negative predictive value (NPV) = 96.3%. Self-reported visual hallucinations had the best overall predictive values with a sensitivity of 43.1%, specificity of 94.0%, PPV of 44.8% and a NPV of 93.6% for any PE-I.
CONCLUSION: The DAWBA-section proved valuable as a screening tool for PE in the youth general population.