Screening for psychiatric symptoms: PAS-ADD Checklist norms for adults with intellectual disabilities

J Intellect Disabil Res. 2004 Jan;48(1):37-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2004.00585.x.


Background: The Psychiatric Assessment Schedule for Adults with Developmental Disabilities Checklist (PAS-ADD Checklist) is a screening instrument designed to help carers recognize likely mental health problems in people with intellectual disabilities (ID). To date there are no published PAS-ADD Checklist data on a large nonpsychiatric population of adults with ID, an important step towards developing norms for comparative purposes.

Methods: Informants who had known participants for a median 24 months completed the PAS-ADD Checklist on 1155 adults with ID living in community, residential care and hospital settings in a county district in the North-east of England.

Results: Normative data were obtained for the PAS-ADD Checklist for the study population with reference to gender, age, and type of residence. The overall prevalence of mental health problems was 20.1%, and the rates for affective/neurotic, organic and psychotic disorders were 14%, 3.9%, and 10.2%, respectively. Significant differences in the rates for particular disorders were found across gender, age and, residence type.

Conclusions: The rates of mental disorders found in the study population were consistent with previous studies of general populations of people with ID using over-inclusive screening instruments. The PAS-ADD Checklist appears to be an easy-to-use and sensitive tool for identifying mental health cases in ID populations, but further investigation is required concerning the specificity of the instrument.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*