ADHD severity impacts child's health-related quality of life

Published on July 28, 2011 at 12:58 AM · No Comments

The greater the severity of a child's Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, the more negative impacts on the child's health-related quality of life from the perspective of the child and the parent, a new study by a Baylor University psychologist has found.

Researchers compared children with ADHD in different types of treatment settings and found that children with ADHD being treated by a general pediatrician have better overall health-related quality of life and family functioning than children with ADHD being treated in a psychiatric clinic.

The study appears on-line in the Journal of Attention Disorders and is the first study to demonstrate greater negative impact on quality of life and family function in children with ADHD treated at a psychiatric clinic compared to those treated at a general pediatric clinic.

"These findings have potential implications for the health care needs of children with ADHD," said study author Dr. Christine Limbers, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor. ""The finding that overall agreement between children and parent ratings of the child's quality of life was low underscores the importance of evaluating both children's and parents' perspectives regarding quality of life in routine assessment in clinical practice and clinical trials for children with ADHD since their different perspectives potentially provide unique information."

The researchers surveyed nearly 200 families and evaluated health-related quality of life and family functioning, such as physical, emotional, social and family relationships, from both the perspective of children with physician-diagnosed ADHD and their parents.

Researchers then compared those results to a sample of healthy children and to children with ADHD being seen in a psychiatric clinic.

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