Validating screening instruments for neuroepidemiologic surveys: Experience in Sicily

Francesca Meneghini, Walter A. Rocca, Dallas W. Anderson, Francesco Grigoletto, Letterio Morgante, Arturo Reggio, Giovanni Savettieri, Raoul di Perri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


In a hospital setting in Sicily, we assessed a screening instrument developed for a prevalence survey of parkinsonism, peripheral neuropathies, stroke, and epilepsy. The subjects consisted of (1) hospital patients with any of the above-mentioned diseases, to investigate sensitivity; and (2) hospital visitors free of all these diseases, to investigate specificity. The standard for comparison was a clinical evaluation based on specified criteria. Trained interviewers administered the screening instrument, asking subjects to answer symptom questions and to perform simple physical tasks. For the questions and tasks together, the sensitivity estimates were 100% for parkinsonism (n = 21), 96% for peripheral neuropathies (n = 22), 96% for stroke (n = 22), and 96% for epilepsy (n = 22), while the specificity estimate was 86% (n = 21). Analogous estimates were computed for the set of questions, for the set of tasks, and for each question and task individually. Despite limitations in our approach, we concluded that the screening instrument would be adequate for its intended use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1992


  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Examination
  • Neurologic diseases
  • Questionnaires Screening instruments
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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