Bölte S, Tomalski P, Marschik P, Berggren S, Norberg J, Falck-Ytter T, Pokorska O, Jones E, Charman T, Roeyers H et al (2016) Challenges and inequalities of opportunities in European psychiatry research: The European Journal of Psychological Assessment

Background: Europe is diverse in terms of economy, cultures, socio-demography and languages. A crucial aspect of psychiatric research is the availability of standardized screening, diagnostic and characterization instruments. Aims/Method: We fine-mapped the accessibility of 14 clinical scales and cognitive tests for the assessment of early childhood autism spectrum disorder [ASD] (e.g. ADOS, ADI-R, SCQ, SRS, CHAT, MESL) within 21 European countries. These tools are essential for internationally competitive early ASD detection research. Results: We identified a considerable variation not only in the availability, but also psychometric standardization, and formal distribution of the instruments between the countries, privileging English speaking, high-income and highly populated European countries. Absence of country-specific standardization was a problem across many countries, independent of income and size. Discussion: Findings demonstrate, on a Concrete level, the challenges in creating equal early ASD identification research opportunities in Europe, and the need for increased funding for instrument development and validation. We discuss the reasons, implications and consequences of this inequity and ways of reducing it.