An Internet-Based Symptom Questionnaire That Is Reliable, Valid, and Available to Psychiatrists, Neurologists, and Psychologists

C. Thomas Gualtieri, MD

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Abstract

The Neuropsych Questionnaire (NPQ) addresses 2 important clinical issues: how to screen patients for a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders quickly and efficiently, and how to acquire independent verification of a patient's complaints. The NPQ is available over the Internet in adult and pediatric versions. The adult version of the NPQ consists of 207 simple questions about common symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders. The NPQ scores patient and/or observer responses in terms of 20 symptom clusters: inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, learning problems, memory, anxiety, panic, agoraphobia, obsessions and compulsions, social anxiety, depression, mood instability, mania, aggression, psychosis, somatization, fatigue, sleep, suicide, pain, and substance abuse. The NPQ is reliable (patients tested twice, patient-observer pairs, 2 observers) and discriminates patients with different diagnoses. Scores generated by the NPQ correlate reasonably well with commonly used rating scales, and the test is sensitive to the effects of treatment. The NPQ is suitable for initial patient evaluations, and a short form is appropriate for follow-up assessment. The availability of a comprehensive computerized symptom checklist can help to make the day-to-day practice of psychiatry, neurology, and neuropsychology more objective.

 

 

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