The term “autism” was originally coined by Eugen Bleuler to describe one of the core symptoms of schizophrenia. Even if autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are now considered two distinct conditions, they share some clinical features. The present study aimed to investigate self-reported autistic traits in individuals with ASD, SSD, and non-clinical controls (NCC), using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a 50-item questionnaire. The study was conducted in the Psychiatry Unit of Policlinico “G. Rodolico”, Catania, Italy. The AQ was administered to 35 adults with ASD, 64 with SSD, and 198 NCC. Overall, our data showed that the ASD sample scored significantly higher than NCC. However, no significant differences were detected between individuals with ASD and SSD. Notably, the three groups scored similarly in the subscale “attention to detail”. AQ showed good accuracy in differentiating ASD from NCC (AUC = 0.84), while discriminant ability was poor in the clinical sample (AUC = 0.63). Finally, AQ did not correlate with clinician-rated ADOS-2 scores in the ASD sample. Our study confirms that symptoms are partially overlapping in adults with ASD and psychosis. Moreover, they raise concerns regarding the usefulness of AQ as a screening tool in clinical populations.

Self-reported autistic traits using the AQ: A comparison between individuals with ASD, psychosis, and non-clinical controls

Fusar Poli L.
Primo
;
Ciancio A.
Secondo
;
Gabbiadini A.;Meo V.;Patania F.;Rodolico A.;Saitta G.;Vozza L.;Petralia A.;Signorelli M. S.
Penultimo
;
Aguglia E.
Ultimo
2020-01-01

Abstract

The term “autism” was originally coined by Eugen Bleuler to describe one of the core symptoms of schizophrenia. Even if autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are now considered two distinct conditions, they share some clinical features. The present study aimed to investigate self-reported autistic traits in individuals with ASD, SSD, and non-clinical controls (NCC), using the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a 50-item questionnaire. The study was conducted in the Psychiatry Unit of Policlinico “G. Rodolico”, Catania, Italy. The AQ was administered to 35 adults with ASD, 64 with SSD, and 198 NCC. Overall, our data showed that the ASD sample scored significantly higher than NCC. However, no significant differences were detected between individuals with ASD and SSD. Notably, the three groups scored similarly in the subscale “attention to detail”. AQ showed good accuracy in differentiating ASD from NCC (AUC = 0.84), while discriminant ability was poor in the clinical sample (AUC = 0.63). Finally, AQ did not correlate with clinician-rated ADOS-2 scores in the ASD sample. Our study confirms that symptoms are partially overlapping in adults with ASD and psychosis. Moreover, they raise concerns regarding the usefulness of AQ as a screening tool in clinical populations.
Accuracy
AQ
Attention to detail
Autism spectrum disorder
Insight
Psychopathology
Psychosis
Schizophrenia
Screening
Self-awareness
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/482420
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