Impact on quality of life

The impact of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on home,1-3 school,4,5 work,6-9  relationships1,2  and finances10 consequently leads to a substantial impact on quality of life.

An Australian study compared caregiver-completed measures of family quality of life between families of children with (n=30) or without ADHD (n=156). Parents of children with ADHD reported poorer family quality of life in multiple domains, through impact of the child’s behaviour on parental emotions, time and family activities compared with parents of children without ADHD (Figure).1

Assessment of (i) quality of life and (ii) parental psychopathology in a study comparing Australian families with and without a child with ADHD1

Assessment of (i) quality of life and (ii) parental psychopathology in a study comparing Australian families with and without a child with ADHD

Impact on quality of life may persist into adulthood:

  • The large, cross-sectional, European Lifetime Impairment Survey (sponsored by Shire) assessed the impairment and symptoms of ADHD in children and adolescents as recalled by adults with ADHD (n=588) compared with adults without ADHD (n=736),11 and found that significantly more adults with ADHD reported that their childhood experiences had a negative impact on their successes in later life, compared with adults without ADHD (Figure),11 indicating a negative impact on quality of life.


The effect of recalled childhood and adolescent experiences on everyday life, as reported by adults with and without ADHD in the European Lifetime Impairment Survey11

The effect of recalled childhood and adolescent experiences on everyday life, as reported by adults with and without ADHD in the European Lifetime Impairment Survey

 


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  1. Cussen A, Sciberras E, Ukoumunne OC, et al. Relationship between symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and family functioning: a community-based study. Eur J Pediatr 2012; 171: 271-280.
  2. Davis CC, Claudius M, Palinkas LA, et al. Putting families in the center: family perspectives on decision making and ADHD and implications for ADHD care. J Atten Disord 2012; 16: 675-684.
  3. Klassen AF, Miller A, Fine S. Health-related quality of life in children and adolescents who have a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics 2004; 114: e541-e547.
  4. Kuriyan AB, Pelham WE Jr., Molina BS, et al. Young Adult Educational and Vocational Outcomes of Children Diagnosed with ADHD. J Abnorm Child Psychol 2012; 27-41.
  5. Holmberg K, Bolte S. Do Symptoms of ADHD at Ages 7 and 10 Predict Academic Outcome at Age 16 in the General Population? J Atten Disord 2012; 1-11.
  6. Biederman J, Faraone SV, Spencer TJ, et al. Functional impairments in adults with self-reports of diagnosed ADHD: A controlled study of 1001 adults in the community. J Clin Psychiatry 2006; 67: 524-540.
  7. Brod M, Pohlman B, Lasser R, et al. Comparison of the burden of illness for adults with ADHD across seven countries: a qualitative study. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2012; 10: 47.
  8. de Graaf R, Kessler RC, Fayyad J, et al. The prevalence and effects of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on the performance of workers: results from the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. Occup Environ Med 2008; 65: 835-842.
  9. Shifrin JG, Proctor BE, Prevatt FF. Work performance differences between college students with and without ADHD. J Atten Disord 2010; 13: 489-496.
  10. Le HH, Hodgkins P, Postma MJ, et al. Economic impact of childhood/adolescent ADHD in a European setting: the Netherlands as a reference case. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2014; 23: 587-598.
  11. Caci H, Asherson P, Donfrancesco R, et al. Daily life impairments associated with childhood/adolescent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder as recalled by adults: results from the European Lifetime Impairment Survey. CNS Spectr 2014; 1-10.

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