The mADHD-RS represents a valid and reliable measure of symptom severity in children and adolescents with ADHD, when examined across informant, age and gender, a recent Danish study reports.
Reliable measures to assess disease symptoms and severity are essential in ADHD when patients are rated on two or more occasions during an intervention. This study evaluated the psychometric properties* of the 26-item mADHD-RS — an extended version of the ADHD-RS that includes inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity subscales and an additional subscale for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) — in a population of Danish children and adolescents with ADHD (n=566; 52% male; mean age 10.98 years).
The study indicated that the mADHD-RS should be used as a multidimensional scale with inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity and ODD symptoms rated and interpreted independently. Parents and teachers were found to have completely different frames of reference in applying the mADHD-RS, with teachers showing greater overall leniency in their assessment, yet better differentiation between children with high and low levels of ADHD symptoms. This suggests that parent and teacher mADHD-RS ratings should also be interpreted independently, rather than in combination, when assessing individuals with ADHD.
When gender and age were examined, the study identified differential functioning across certain items on the mADHD-RS scale. The authors suggest that using gender- and age-specific norms and cut-off scores, along with national specific standardisations of the mADHD-RS, would enable its use in clinical decision making.
Read more about how multi-informant rating scales can be used to accurately rate core ADHD symptoms.
*Psychometric properties were evaluated using the partial Rasch model, which describes the association between a person’s level of an underlying trait and the probability of a specific item response on a measure.
Makransky G, Bilenberg N. Psychometric properties of the parent and teacher ADHD Rating Scale (ADHD-RS): measurement invariance across gender, age, and informant. Assessment 2014; 21: 694-705.