A quick and reliable screening measure for OCD in youth: reliability and validity of the obsessive compulsive scale of the Child Behavior Checklist

Daniel A. Geller, Robert Doyle, David Shaw, Benjamin Mullin, Barbara Coffey, Carter Petty, Fe Vivas, Joseph Biederman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The high prevalence and morbidity of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in youth, the secretive nature of the disorder leading to under-recognition, and the lack of specialized child psychiatry services in many areas suggest that a simple, quick, and reliable screening tool to identify cases could be very useful to clinicians who work with children. Method: We used 8 items from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), an empirically derived instrument free of clinician bias, to investigate the usefulness of a previously reported CBCL-based obsessive compulsive scale (OCS) by Nelson et al [Nelson EC, Hanna GL, Hudziak JJ, Botteron KN, Heath AC, Todd RD. Obsessive-compulsive scale of the Child Behavior Checklist: Specificity, sensitivity, and predictive power. Pediatrics 2001;108(1):E14] in a separate cohort of youth with OCD. We computed the psychometric properties of the OCS in our sample of youth with OCD and in psychiatric and normal controls, and compared these to the published values. Results: Using the recommended cutoff between the 60th and 70th percentiles of the OCS to best predict the presence of OCD, we found very high sensitivity (92%-78%), specificity (86%-94%), negative predictive value (96%-90%), and positive predictive value (77%-86%). Conclusions: The OC scale of the CBCL shows good reliability and validity and acceptable psychometric properties to help discriminate youth with OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-240
Number of pages7
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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