Psychopathology of people with intellectual disability: a multicentre study of a new instrument, the SPAID-G

Prevalenza degli aspetti psicopatologici nelle persone con disabilità intellettiva: uno studio multicentrico sul nuovo strumento SPAID-G

M. Bertelli1-3, D. Scuticchio1-3, A. Ferrandi2, C. Ciavatta4, G. La Malfa5, F. Mango4, C. Porcelli6, S. Monchieri2

1 CREA (Centro di Ricerca ed Evoluzione AMG), Firenze; 2 IRCCS San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, Brescia; 3 Cooperativa Sociale WORK 2000, Arezzo; 4 Istituto dei Padri Trinitari, Venosa, Potenza; 5 Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche e Psichiatriche, Università di Firenze; 6 Cooperativa RUAH, Triggiano, Bari



SPAID (Psychiatric Instrument for the Intellectually Disabled Adult) is the first Italian tool package for psychiatric diagnosis in adult with ID. It includes the “G” form, for General diagnostic orientation, and specific scales for those syndromal groups proposed by nosographic classification systems. SPAID was projected to supply different investigators of ID with a rapid and easy to use tool in daily practice.

Study aims

To estimate psychometric and psychodiagnostic properties of the SPAIDG, to give new data on prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders in an Italian multicentre sample of people with ID living in different settings, and to stimulate scientific interest on problems of mental health in ID.


Two-hundred-and-forty-five subjects with ID consecutively referring to participating centres or randomly chosen among those living there, were administered the SPAID-G. A proportion of subjects was also assessed through the use of DASH, PDD-MRS and with the clinical application of DSM-IV-TR criteria.


Correlation between SPAID-G and area scores of other instruments was higher than 60%. Internal consistency and inter-rater reliability proved to be acceptable. Around 40% of the sample showed psychopathological symptoms. Autistic-spectrum disorders, impulse control disorders, mood disorders, and dramatic personality disorder were the diagnoses with most prevalent over-threshold scores in decreasing order (Table I).


SPAID-G seems to be a diagnostically valid instrument, rapid and easy to use in the assessment of psychiatric disorders in Italian people with ID.

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