By J. Antoni Ramos-Quiroga
The aim of this study was to assess for the first time the criterion validity of the semi-structured Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in adults (DIVA 2.0), and its concurrent validity in comparison with the Conners’ Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV (CAADID) and other ADHD severity scales, following the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) criteria.
A transversal study was performed on 40 out-patients with ADHD to check the criteria and concurrent validity of the DIVA 2.0 compared with the CAADID. Results: The DIVA 2.0 interview showed a diagnostic accuracy of 100% when compared with the diagnoses obtained with the CAADID interview.
The concurrent validity demonstrated good correlations with three self-reported rating scales: the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS; r = .544, p < .0001), the ADHD-Rating Scale (r = .720, p < .0001), and Sheehan’s Dysfunction Inventory (r = .674, p < .0001). Conclusion: The DIVA 2.0 is a reliable tool for assessing and diagnosing Adult ADHD and is the only one that offers free online access for clinical and research purposes.
Despite the high prevalence of ADHD in adults, until recently, only the Conners Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for DSM-IV (CAADID) was the validated semi-structured interview available for the accurate diagnostic assessment of ADHD based on the DSM-IV criteria in the adult population. However, an important limitation of the CAADID that needs to be highlighted are the costs that come with its administration.
On the other hand, the DIVA 2.0 interview (Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in adults, DIVA 2.0, for its acronym in Dutch) is a semi-structured instrument which is freely available as a PDF on the website of the DIVA Foundation (www.divacenter.eu) and via a small one-off charge as a downloadable app. This semi-structured interview allows a thorough evaluation of the diagnostic criteria of DSM-IV-TR for ADHD in adulthood, as well as in childhood. It is divided into two domains, each applicable for childhood (before age 12) and for adulthood: the DSM-IV criteria for inattention, and for hyperactivity/impulsivity. The third part deals with the impairment caused by the ADHD symptoms in five areas of functioning (including work and education; relationships and family life; social contacts; free time and hobbies; self-confidence and self-image). For each criterion and age period, the DIVA 2.0 provides a list of specific and realistic examples of current or retrospective behaviors throughout life, that simplify the assessment of each of the 18 DSM-IV criteria required for the diagnosis of ADHD. The examples are based on common descriptions provided by the patients themselves. DIVA 2.0 also provides examples of the types of impairment commonly associated with the symptoms in five areas of daily life mentioned above. Whenever possible, the adult is interviewed in the presence of the partner or close relative who is familiar with the patient’s childhood, in order to evaluate simultaneously collateral and retrospective information (hetero-anamnesis).
This study investigates criterion and concurrent validity of the DIVA 2.0, a diagnostic semi-structured interview for ADHD in adults, based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria. Given that only one other study has investigated the validity of this interview, this is one of the first studies to carry forward the appropriate statistical analysis to explore the psychometric properties of the diagnostic tool in Spanish (Pettersson et al., 2015). Nevertheless, the study of Pettersson et al. compared DIVA 2.0 with an open clinical interview and in this study DIVA 2.0 was correlated with a semi-structured interview (CAADID).
The validation of this diagnostic interview provides us with an accurate and free diagnostic tool for assessing ADHD in the adult population, which can be useful in daily clinical practice and research settings. Findings from this piece of research provide support for the good reliability of this interview for the diagnosis of ADHD within the adult population. The findings demonstrate that DIVA 2.0 has a diagnostic accuracy for ADHD in adults of 100% when compared with the diagnosis obtained using the current gold standard diagnostic interview, the CAADID. Moreover, DIVA 2.0 appears to have similar psychometric properties as the CAADID as a diagnostic tool for adult ADHD. Regarding the validity of the interview, the results show a good correlation with the WURS scale when assessing ADHD symptoms for inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and total symptoms during childhood. Along the same lines, fair results for concurrent validity were obtained for the assessment of symptoms during adulthood using the ADHD-Rating Scale and DIVA 2.0. Finally, a new updated DSM-5 version of DIVA is coming soon.