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Clinical utility of the Chinese Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD-Symptoms and Normal-behaviors questionnaire (SWAN) when compared with DISC-IV

Authors Chan G, Lai KY, Luk ES, Hung S, Leung PW

Received 10 April 2014

Accepted for publication 19 May 2014

Published 21 August 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 1533—1542


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Grace Fong-Chun Chan,1 Kelly Yee-Ching Lai,2 Ernest Siu-Luen Luk,3 Se-Fong Hung,2 Patrick Wing-Leung Leung4

1Department of Psychiatry, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital, 2Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 3Private practice, 4Clinical and Health Psychology Centre, Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common and impairing child and adolescent psychiatric disorder. Early identification and prompt treatment are essential. Rating scales are commonly used by clinicians and researchers to assess ADHD children.
Objective: In the current study, we aimed to examine the clinical utility of the Chinese version of the Strengths and Weaknesses of ADHD Symptoms and Normal Behaviors (SWAN) questionnaire. We validated its subscale scores against the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (DISC-IV) and looked into its ability to identify ADHD in a psychiatric clinic setting. We also tested age and gender effects on SWAN scores. Specific subscale cutoff scores of SWAN were subsequently determined.
Method: A total of 290 children aged 6–12 years old studying in local mainstream primary schools were recruited from a clinic setting and interviewed with the parent version of DISC-IV. Their parents and teachers completed the corresponding version of SWAN.
Results: Both parent and teacher versions of SWAN were found to have good concurrent validity with DISC-IV. It could identify ADHD well in a clinic sample. Gender-specific cutoff scores were determined. Sensitivities and specificities were found to be satisfactory. SWAN was also found to perform equally well in identifying ADHD in those with and without comorbid Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Conclusion: SWAN was proven to be a useful tool to aid the assessment of ADHD in a clinic sample.

Keywords: ADHD, SWAN, DISC-IV, validity

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