Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurocognitive disorder characterized by symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and motor hyperactivity. The worldwide prevalence of ADHD, in the general adult population, has been estimated to be 2.8%. Patients with ADHD have a high incidence of comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders. Those with a psychiatric disorder as well as ADHD have more psychosocial difficulties than those without ADHD. Despite knowing that ADHD is often comorbid with other psychiatric diagnoses, there are currently no studies elucidating the prevalence of ADHD in the inpatient psychiatric population, nor is there significant information about its impact. The lack of research into this topic suggests more needs to be done in the field of adult ADHD, especially in the inpatient psychiatric population and with respect to impairment in patient function. Knowing the prevalence of ADHD and its impact on quality of life in adult inpatients will help lay the groundwork for effective screening and management. The purpose of this study was to understand the prevalence rates of ADHD among psychiatric acute care inpatients. Other objectives included comparing the quality of life and functioning between patients with a primary psychiatric diagnosis and ADHD (treated or untreated) versus those with a primary psychiatric diagnosis and no ADHD. Thirty-three (N = 31) psychiatric inpatients were screened using the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale. Those that screened positive for ADHD received a full diagnostic assessment for ADHD. All patients completed the Weiss Functional Impairment Rating Scale (WFIRS) to assess level of functioning and a Clinical Global Impression of Severity/Improvement Scale (on admission and discharge). Demographic information was also obtained. Of the 31 patients analyzed, 12 had a diagnosis of ADHD (36.4%). The participants diagnosed with ADHD scored significantly higher on the WFIRS, suggesting decreased functioning compared to patients without comorbid ADHD. Patients with ADHD also scored significantly higher in the individual domains of this rating scale, suggesting impairment in family, work and social functioning as well as decreased life-skills, poor self-concept and increased risk-taking behavior. In this sample, the prevalence of ADHD is significantly higher among acute care psychiatric inpatients than in the general population. Patients with concomitant ADHD suffer more functional impairment than those without. These findings merit further investigation into the value of routine screening and patient-specific treatment of ADHD in this patient population.
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 3, 2018
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