Is daily replication necessary when sampling cortisol concentrations in association studies of children with autism spectrum disorder? A systematic review and discussion paper

Christopher F. Sharpley*, Vicki Bitsika, Linda L. Agnew, Nicholas M. Andronicos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Salivary cortisol may be used as a biomarker of stress and anxiety in children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some suggestions have been made that the measurement of cortisol needs to be undertaken by repeated days' observations to ensure reliability of the data obtained. These requirements are discussed in regard to 14 studies of the test-retest agreement and stability in cortisol data across repeated daily measurements. Results of those studies almost universally fail to support the argument for repeated daily measurements of cortisol. Implications for the research protocols of studies using cortisol as an index of stress in children with ASD are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-111
    Number of pages9
    JournalReviews in the Neurosciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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