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Questionnaire ratings of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults are associated with spatial working memory

  • Jonathan H. Dowson (a1), Andrew D. Blackwell (a1), Danielle C. Turner (a1), Elizabeth Harvey (a1), Tina Malhotra (a1), Trevor W. Robbins (a2) and Barbara J. Sahakian (a1)...

Abstract

Objective

Data related to brain function may have the potential to improve the reliability and validity of assessments for the aetiologically and clinically heterogeneous syndrome of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This study investigated associations between questionnaire assessments of behavioural features of adults with ADHD and an aspect of neurocognitive performance which has been reported to be impaired in adults with ADHD.

Methods

Fifty-nine adult patients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD, and their informants, completed questionnaires related to aspects of severity of ADHD. Associations were examined between questionnaire ratings and performance on a computer-administered task of spatial working memory (SWM).

Results

Correlations between ratings of ADHD and SWM indicated moderate but significant correlations for patients' ratings, but not for informants' ratings. Also, patients who reported a past history of ‘self-harm’ (N = 33) had a significantly worse mean performance on both measures of SWM (p = 0.004, 0.003).

Conclusions

The results indicate that aspects of impulsivity, i.e. self-ratings of ‘emotive’ behaviour (involving rapid response to stimuli and marked reactivity of mood) and of past ‘self-harm’, show relatively strong associations with SWM performance in adults selected on the basis of an ADHD diagnosis. A profile of neurocognitive performances may have a role in the assessment of ADHD.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Department of Psychiatry, Box 189, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK. Tel.: +44 01223 336965; fax: +44 01223 336968. E-mail address:jhd1000@cam.ac.uk (J.H. Dowson).

References

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Keywords

Questionnaire ratings of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults are associated with spatial working memory

  • Jonathan H. Dowson (a1), Andrew D. Blackwell (a1), Danielle C. Turner (a1), Elizabeth Harvey (a1), Tina Malhotra (a1), Trevor W. Robbins (a2) and Barbara J. Sahakian (a1)...

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Questionnaire ratings of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults are associated with spatial working memory

  • Jonathan H. Dowson (a1), Andrew D. Blackwell (a1), Danielle C. Turner (a1), Elizabeth Harvey (a1), Tina Malhotra (a1), Trevor W. Robbins (a2) and Barbara J. Sahakian (a1)...
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