Using the consensus group method to select the best screening tools for autism and intellectual disability for use with Nigerian adolescents

Eziafakaku Uchechukwu Nwokolo, Glynis H. Murphy, Anne-Marie Mensink, Xavier Moonen, Peter E. Langdon

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Diagnosing autism or ID using a gold-standard tool can be time-consuming, costly, and requires training, which is generally limited in Nigeria, and the rest of Africa. Screening, on the other hand, can be quick and effective, with minimal training depending on the tool (Iragorri & Spackman, Public Health Reviews, 2018;39(1):17), thus making the availability of short screeners a necessity in Nigeria, and the rest of Africa. We identified four screening tools through a previously completed systematic review (Nwokolo et al., Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2022;1–23.), two (SCQ and AQ-10) for autism and two (SCIL and CAIDS-Q) for ID, which appeared appropriate for validation for use within African nations. The Nominal Group Technique was used with a purposive group of professionals, parents, and laypersons to select and adapt the existing screening tools for autism and ID for use with older children and adolescents in Nigeria. The group examined the screening tools for cultural relevance, face and content validity. Following the discussions, items were either (1) accepted in the original form or (2) more culturally appropriate examples chosen if at least 75% of participants agreed. The group selected the SCQ for autism and the SCIL for ID. The minimum agreement on all autism and ID measures items was 84%, and this indicated the measures had face and content validity for use within Nigeria. Following the recommendations and consensus of the group, the SCQ and the SCIL 14–17 were agreed on as measures to be validated with the Nigerian adolescents, with only a small number of adjustments needed to allow for different use of language, customs and environment in the Nigerian context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-358
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number4
Early online date13 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • adolescent
  • Africa
  • autism
  • ID
  • Nigeria
  • screening/diagnosis

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