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ESSENCE-Q screening questionnaire

The ESSENCE-Q is a questionnaire designed for clinical and research purposes, with the aim of helping clinicians and researchers to identify children (of all ages, but primarily small children) who may have some kind of ESSENCE disorder

About the ESSENCE-Q

The ESSENCE-Q is a questionnaire designed for clinical and research purposes, with the aim of helping clinicians and researchers to identify children (of all ages, but primarily small children) who may have some kind of ESSENCE disorder (an umbrella term including e.g. ASD, ADHD, DCD, SLI and Tourette’s syndrome).

How the ESSENCE-Q is scored

Tally up the number of YES responses and MAYBE/A LITTLE responses. All children who get one (or more) clear YES or three (or more) MAYBE/A LITTLE should be examined by a child development specialist or screened for further problems by a child care centre nurse.

Psychometric properties

ESSENCE-Q has been used as a parent questionnaire in a Japanese study and was then found to have good psychometric properties, with a sensitivity of 0.94 and specificity of 0.53. High sensitivity, as in this case, is paramount in a screening instrument.

How the ESSENCE-Q is used

The ESSENCE-Q can be used as a short interview (led by a doctor or a psychologist/nurse in a neurodevelopmental assessment team) or as a questionnaire filled out by parents (although it has as yet only been tested on mothers, not fathers). It is neither to be used as a diagnostic tool nor as a proxy for diagnosis, but rather as a screening instrument.

Hatakenaka Y, Fernell E, Sakaguchi M, Ninomiya H, Fukunaga I, Gillberg C. (2016), Hatakenaka Y, Ninomiya H, Billstedt E, Fernell E, Gillberg C.