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University of Gothenburg
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ADHD: diagnostic validity of QbTest

Participants: Nicklas Hult, Josefin Kadesjö, Björn Kadesjö, Christopher Gillberg, Eva Billstedt

A number of computerised attention tests have been developed over the last few years. The purpose is for the results of these tests to provide material for neuropsychiatric investigations related to attention, such as ADHD. These tests are often described as objective tests of attention functions. The purpose of our study was to examine the validity of one of these tests, the QbTest. The QbTest results are divided along three parametres: attention, impulsivity and, unlike other computerised attention tests, motor activity as well. The interpretation is based on Q-scores (similar to Z-scores). QbTest obtains norm data based on age and gender.

The study included 182 children (average age of just over ten years), of which 124 had ADHD, while the remaining 58 did not, but instead had other psychiatric/neuropsychiatric problems. All children had been investigated by a multidisciplinary team according to the recommended investigation procedure. The majority of other studies exclude study participants with comorbidity but as this rarely reflects the clinical reality, we thus decided to include a clinical non-ADHD group.

We found that the statistical measure positive predictive value (PPV) of the three parametres varied from 76 to 86 per cent, while the negative predictive value (NPV) varied from 37 to 50 per cent. In other words, the likelihood that those who had a positive test result (where the QbTest result indicated ADHD) also actually had ADHD after investigation was 76 to 86 per cent and the likelihood that a negative test result (a QbTest result that did not indicate ADHD) also aligned with the clinical examination was 37 to 50 per cent.

When we compared the QbTest results for the ADHD group with the clinical non-ADHD group's results, we found differences between the groups in terms of attention and activity (the ADHD group was more inattentive and active) but no difference between the groups with regard to impulsivity.

Our conclusion of the study is that the diagnosis ADHD cannot be based solely on a QbTest result but that the clinical evaluation (in which the QbTest can be included as assessment material) is the decisive component in diagnosing.


Hult, N., Kadesjö, J., Kadesjö, B., Gillberg, C., & Billstedt, E. (2015). ADHD and the QbTest: Diagnostic Validity of QbTest. Journal of Attention Disorder, (Epub ahead of print).


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