Diagnostic validity of Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, second edition (K-ADOS-2) in the Korean population

So Yoon Kim, Miae Oh, Guiyoung Bong, Da Yea Song, Nan He Yoon, Joo Hyun Kim, Hee Jeong Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although the Korean version of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (K-ADOS‐2) is widely being used to diagnose autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in South Korea, no previous study has examined the validity and reliability of all modules of K-ADOS-2 across a wide age range, particularly older children, adolescents, and adults. Method: Data from 2,158 participants were included (mean age = 79.7 months; 73.6% male): 1473 participants with ASD and 685 participants without ASD (Toddler Module, n = 289; Module 1, n = 642; Module 2 n = 574; Module 3 n = 411; Module 4, n = 242). Participants completed a battery of tests, including the K-ADOS or K-ADOS-2 and other existing diagnostic instruments. Sensitivity, specificity, area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), Cohen’s kappa (k), and agreement with existing diagnostic instruments were computed. Cronbach’s α values were also calculated. Results: All developmental cells of the K-ADOS-2 showed sufficient ranges of sensitivity 85.4–100.0%; specificity, 80.4–96.8%; area under the ROC curve,.90-.97; PPV, 77.8–99.3%; NPV, 80.6–100.0%; and k values,.83–.92. The kappa agreements of developmental cells with existing diagnostic instruments ranged from.20 to.90. Cronbach’s α values ranged from.82 to.91 across all developmental cells. Limitation: The best-estimate clinical diagnoses made in this study were not independent of the K-ADOS-2 scores. Some modules did not include balanced numbers of participants in terms of gender and diagnostic status. Conclusion: The K-ADOS-2 is a valid and reliable instrument in diagnosing ASD in South Korea. Future studies exploring the effectiveness of the K-ADOS-2 in capturing restricted, repetitive behaviors and differentiating ASD from other developmental disabilities are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalMolecular Autism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • ADOS-2
  • Autism
  • Diagnosis
  • Validity


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