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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2017

The Autism–Tics, ADHD and other Comorbidities inventory (A-TAC): previous and predictive validity

BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2017
Caroline Mårland, Paul Lichtenstein, Alessio Degl’Innocenti, Tomas Larson, Maria Råstam, Henrik Anckarsäter, Christopher Gillberg, Thomas Nilsson, Sebastian Lundström
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12888-017-1563-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Reliable and easy to administer screening instruments focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders and associated conditions are scarce. The Autism–Tics, AD/HD and other Comorbidities inventory (A-TAC) has previously been validated and reporting good– excellent validity for several disorders. This article aims to expand these findings by including more conditions in a substantially larger sample augmented with the Swedish National Patient Register (NPR).


Since 2004 parents of all 9-year-old Swedish twins have been invited to participate in a telephone interview in the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden, CATSS. The CATSS is linked to the NPR which includes data from in- and outpatient care. Data on neurodevelopmental disorders (A-TAC) collected in CATSS were compared with diagnoses from the NPR. We investigated diagnoses that had been made both before (previous validity) and after (predictive validity) the interview.


Sensitivity and specificity of A-TAC scores for predicting earlier or later clinical diagnoses were mostly good–excellent, with values of the area under the curve for a clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) of .98, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) .93, learning disorder (LD) .92, and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) .99, with small differences in terms of previous and predictive analyses. A-TAC provided little validity for eating disorders.


The result support previous claims: A-TAC is a broad screening instrument with a particular strength in assessing ASD, ADHD, LD, and ODD at ages 9 and 12, and also provides phenotypic information about other child psychiatric disorders.
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