Diagnosis and Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Focus on Adult ADHD

Posted on:May 4, 2019
Last Updated: February 10, 2021
Time to read: 15–17 minutes

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity or both. It has traditionally been recognised as a childhood condition.

However, the current population estimations put 4.4 to 5.2% of adults aged 18 to 44 years old as currently suffering from ADHD. [Young and Goodman, 2016]

DSM-V criteria for ADHD [American Psychiatric Association, 2013]

Simon and colleagues found that the pooled prevalence of adult ADHD to be 2.5% (95% confidence interval 2.1 to 3.1).  Also, studies in older adults are found to have a similar prevalence. [Simon et al., 2009]

A prospective longitudinal study showed that approximately two-thirds of youths with ADHD retain impairment symptoms of the disorder in adulthood. [Faraone et al., 2006]

ADHD-related symptoms have been shown to change as the patient progresses from childhood to adulthood: hyperactivity decreases more rapidly compared to symptoms of inattention. [Biederman J et al., 2000]

Clinicians should increase their awareness of adult ADHD given that currently less than one in five adult patients are diagnosed and treated.[Ginsberg Y et al., 2014]


This article will focus on the diagnosis and management of Adult ADHD.