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ESSENCE-Q: Slavic language versions for developmental screening in young children

Authors Stevanovic D, Knez R, Zorcec T, Anderluh M, Kodrič J, Petrov P, Hadžagić Ćatibušić F, Deljković A, Brkic Cvetkovic S, Vrljičak Davidovic N, Kuzmanić Šamija R, Đorić A, Gillberg C

Received 17 April 2018

Accepted for publication 16 May 2018

Published 23 August 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 2141—2148


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Dejan Stevanovic,1 Rajna Knez,2,3 Tatjana Zorcec,4 Marija Anderluh,5 Jana Kodrič,5 Petar Petrov,6 Feriha Hadžagić Ćatibušić,7 Azra Deljković,8 Slavica Brkic Cvetkovic,1 Nikolina Vrljičak Davidovic,9 Radenka Kuzmanić Šamija,10 Ana Ðorić,11 Christopher Gillberg12

1Psychiatry Department, Clinic for Neurology and Psychiatry for Children and Youth, Belgrade, Serbia; 2Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Skaraborgs Hospital, Skövde, Sweden; 3Department of Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia; 4Developmental Department, University Children’s Hospital, Skopje, Macedonia; 5Department of Child Psychiatry, University Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia; 6Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital St Marina, Varna, Bulgaria; 7Pediatric Clinic, Clinical Center Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 8Psychiatry Department, Mental Health Center Pljevlja, Pljevlja, Montenegro; 9Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical Hospital Center, Split, Croatia; 10Clinic for Children’s Disorders, Clinical Hospital Center, Split, Croatia; 11Center of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia; 12Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Center, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Purpose: The Early Symptomatic Syndromes Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examinations – Questionnaire (ESSENCE-Q) was developed as a brief screener to identify children with developmental concerns who might have neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). This study aimed to translate the ESSENCE-Q into south Slavic languages, namely, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Serbian, and Slovenian, and to evaluate its psychometric properties for screening purposes in clinical settings.
Patients and methods: In the study, the ESSENCE-Q was completed for 251 “typically developing” children and 200 children with 1 or more diagnosed NDDs, all aged 1–6 years. Internal consistency and construct validity were tested first, followed by generating receiver operating characteristic curves and the area under the curve. Optimal cutoff values were then explored.
Results: The Cronbach’s α coefficients were 0.91, 0.88, and 0.86 for ESSENCE-Q parent-completed form, and the telephone and direct interview forms administered by trained nurse or specialist, respectively. The 3 versions produced area under the curve values (95% confidence interval): 0.96 (0.93–0.99), 0.91 (0.86–0.95), and 0.91 (0.86–0.97), respectively. An optimal cutoff for ESSENCE-Q parent-completed form was found to be ≥3 points, while for the telephone and direct interviews, it was ≥5 points.
Conclusion: We found adequate measurement properties of the south Slavic languages versions of the ESSENCE-Q as a screener for NDDs in clinical settings. This study provided additional data supporting sound psychometric properties of the ESSENCE-Q.

Keywords: early screening, questionnaire, autism, intellectual disability

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