The Audio-Visual Abnormalities Questionnaire (AVAQ): Development and validation of a new instrument for assessing anomalies in sensory perception in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Nikitova, N., Keane, B. P., Demmin, D., Silverstein, S. M. and Uhlhaas, P. J. (2019) The Audio-Visual Abnormalities Questionnaire (AVAQ): Development and validation of a new instrument for assessing anomalies in sensory perception in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Schizophrenia Research, 209, pp. 227-233. (doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.03.016) (PMID:31182320)

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Abstract

Background: Anomalies in visual and auditory perception represent an important aspect of the symptomatic manifestation of schizophrenia (ScZ). However, there are currently no instruments available that allow the assessment of the full range of auditory and visual abnormalities using a self-report measure. Methods: We developed the 85-item Audio-Visual Abnormalities Questionnaire (AVAQ) to assess abnormalities in auditory and visual processing. The AVAQ was validated in an online-sample of 355 healthy participants to establish the factorial structure, internal consistency and reliability of the instrument. In addition, participants completed the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) and the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) to establish convergent validity regarding autistic and schizotypal traits. Results: High internal consistency was observed for the total AVAQ-scale (α = 0.99) as well as for the visual (α = 0.98), auditory (α = 0.96) and the audio-visual subscales (α = 0.83). Principal component analyses demonstrated one factor comprising 78 items. The AVAQ was positively correlated with the SPQ (r = 0.69, p < .001) as well as the AQ (r = 0.38, p < .001). Correlations with the SPQ were highest for unusual perceptual experiences (r = 0.72, p < .001) and lowest for social anxiety (r = 0.30, p < .001). Conclusion: The AVAQ demonstrated excellent reliability, internal consistency and construct validity. Accordingly, the instrument could be useful for characterizing sensory dysfunctions across the schizophrenia spectrum that could guide interventions as well as aid the development of biomarkers.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:BK was supported by grant K01MH108783
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Uhlhaas, Professor Peter
Authors: Nikitova, N., Keane, B. P., Demmin, D., Silverstein, S. M., and Uhlhaas, P. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Schizophrenia Research
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0920-9964
ISSN (Online):0920-9964
Published Online:08 June 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Schizophrenia Research 209:227-233
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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