Computer-assisted assessment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in young people: a preliminary evaluation of the Development and Well-Being Assessment

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Background:Paediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often goes undetected, delaying access to evidence-based treatment. This study aimed to assess the utility of a computerised diagnostic tool, the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA), in detecting OCD and comorbidity in youth.Method:A total of 51 young people referred to a specialist OCD service between September 2007 and July 2008 completed the DAWBA prior to clinical assessment. Computer-rated and clinician-rated DAWBA diagnoses were compared with those assigned by the specialist clinic.Results:The computer-rated and clinician-rated DAWBA correctly classified OCD in 71% and 77% of cases respectively. Compared to consensus diagnoses, the computer-rated DAWBA tended to over-diagnose comorbidity, while the clinician-rated DAWBA diagnoses of comorbidity corresponded well with the consensus.Conclusions:The DAWBA has potential value in detecting OCD as well as comorbid disorders, and could be a cost-effective method for diagnosing OCD and related problems.

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