The Prevalence of ADHD in a Population-Based Sample

The authors note that few studies of ADHD prevalence have used population-based samples, multiple informants, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) criteria. Moreover, children who are asymptomatic while receiving ADHD medication often have been misclassified. The authors screened 7,587 children for ADHD. Teachers of 81% of the children completed a DSM-IV checklist. The authors interviewed parents using a structured interview (DISC). Of these, 72% participated. Parent and teacher ratings were combined to determine ADHD status. The authors estimated the proportion of cases attributable to other conditions. The authors reported 15.5% of the sample met DSM- (4th ed.; text rev., DSM-IV-TR) criteria for ADHD (95% CI [14.6%, 16.4%]); 42% of cases reported no previous diagnosis. With additional information, other conditions explained 9% of cases. The authors concluded that the prevalence of ADHD in this population-based sample was considerably higher than 3% to 7%. The authors suggested that to compare study results, the DSM criteria need standardization.

Roland, Andres S., Skipper, Betty J., UMback, David M., Rabiner, David L., Campbell, Richard A., Naftel, Albert J., and Sandler, Dale P. (2015). The Prevalence of ADHD in a Population-Based Sample. Journal of Attention Disorders, 19, 741-754.

About rickyWburk

Ricky W. Burk, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is a speech-language pathologist who provides in-home therapy for adolescents and adults residing in Tennessee and Mississippi who stutter. His career includes PreK, elementary, middle, and high school practice, undergraduate & graduate faculty appointments, skilled nursing, national & international consultation, private practice, and national & international speaking presentations. He holds the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, and he is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. He is the ASHA Continuing Education Administrator for the National Association for Speech Fluency.
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