How common is ADHD?
ADHD is the most common neurobehavioural disorder in children,1 and represents a major public health problem.2 Its prevalence is generally thought to be between 3% and 7% in school-age children,3 and a meta-regression analysis of key studies with similar methodologies estimated a mean worldwide prevalence of 4.5%.4 However, estimates as high as 16% have been reported.5 This makes ADHD one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions affecting school-aged children.6
Whats the diagnosis?
The diagnosis of ADHD is based on symptomatology, and currently there is no single diagnostic tool available.
The Symptoms of ADHD
Symptoms of ADHD cause functional impairment across two or more settings, for example, the home setting and the school setting.
ADHD may be associated with deficits in academic, social and emotional functions,2,7,8 and associated learning disabilities may also be present.3
Treatment for ADHD
Treatment of ADHD incorporates non-pharmacological therapy either alone or in combination with pharmacological therapy. There are a number of published guidelines available that can assist in the management and treatment of ADHD.
Viral film campaign raises ADHD awareness
A short film – "Living with ADHD", produced by Janssen Cilag, aims to raise awareness of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD). The film, which lasts for just over two-and-a-half minutes is filmed 'through the eyes of a child' and aims to give an insight into the day-to-day struggles for a child suffering from ADHD.
1. Clinical practice guideline: Diagnosis and evaluation of the child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics 2000; 105: 1158–70.
2. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement: Diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2000; 39: 182–93.
3. American Psychiatric Association. Attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In: Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 2000, American Psychiatric Association. 85–103.
4. Polanczyk G, Silva de Lima M, Horta B, Biederman J, Rohde L. ADHD prevalence around the world: what are the real sources of variability in estimates? A systematic review and meta-regression analysis. In: 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). 2005.
5. Rowland AS, Umbach DM, Catoe KE, Stallone L, Long S, Rabiner D, et al. Studying the epidemiology of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: screening method and pilot results. Can J Psychiatry 2001; 46: 931–40.
6. Dougherty DD, Bonab AA, Spencer TJ, Rauch SL, Madras BK, Fischman AJ. Dopamine transporter density in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Lancet 1999; 354: 2132–3.
7. NICE. NICE technology appraisal guidance No 13. Guidance on the use of methylphenidate (Ritalin, Equasym) for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood. 2000. 1–13.
8. Waslick B, Greenhill L. Attention–deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In: Textbook of child and adolescent psychiatry. Weiner JM, Ed. 1997, Washington, DC, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Press. 389–410.