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The Adult Asperger Assessment (AAA), comprising the Autism Questionnaire, the Empathy Quiotient and the Relatives Questionnaire is a commonly used screening tool designed to identify adults who may benefit from a further clinical assessment for autism spectrum disorder. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the usefulness of this screening measure in a clinical setting.Design/methodology/approachThis retrospective cohort study comprised of 192 service users referred for diagnostic assessment of Autism by a specialist service of the National Health Service. The authors evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the AAA by investigating if the Autism Questionnaire, the Empathy Quiotient and the Relatives Questionnaire were able to predict the diagnostic outcome of Autism in a clinical setting.FindingsScores from the Relatives Questionnaire can accurately predict diagnostic outcome. No evidence of accuracy for the Autism Questionnaire or the Empathy Quotient was apparent. Based on the findings, the authors recommend clinicians are cautious when interpreting results of the AAA.Research limitations/implicationsIt should be acknowledged that the results may not be generalisable to whole populations. Also, the authors used the full item versions of the scales; therefore, the findings are most applicable to studies which did similar.Originality/valueThis study highlights the need for investigation into the lack of validation of commonly used screening measures in autistic populations.
Advances in Autism – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 2, 2022
Keywords: Autism; EQ; Diagnostic assessment; Adult ASD; AQ; RQ; AAA
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