Although "Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD) is mostly known as a childhood psychiatric disorder, follow-up studies show the persistence of ADHD symptoms into adulthood in about 60% of individuals. Epidemiological data confirm its high prevalence in adulthood (1-4,7%). Furthermore, research evidence supports the validity of ADHD in adults, and data from both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies reveal psychosocial associated impairment rendering it a major clinical and public health concern. A diagnosis of ADHD in adults is made by a careful evaluation of current symptoms and a lifetime history of symptoms with onset in childhood. Central to this process is the presence of persistent symptoms and associated impairment in at least two domains (school, work, social contacts, ...). The diagnostic process includes a systematic evaluation of other mental disorders, as well for differential diagnosis, as to assess comorbidity. To reduce risks of both under- and overdiagnosis, the use of information of multiple informants (patient, parents and partner) is preferred. Besides treatment of comorbid disorders, treatment of adult ADHD should include psychoeducation, pharmacotherapy and psychosocial treatments. Stimulants remain first choice in the pharmacotherapy of the core symptoms; still management of adult ADHD often requires more comprehensive non-pharmacological therapy due to associated psychosocial problems and the impact it exerts on psychological development and family functioning.
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|