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The Lifetime Impairment Survey, conducted in Europe, assessed impairment and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood, and experiences of ADHD diagnosis and treatment, as recalled by adults.
Adults with ADHD and without ADHD (control group) were invited to participate in an internet-based survey and report on their childhood experiences. History of ADHD diagnosis was self-reported. Groups were compared using impairment and symptom scales.
Overall, 588 adults with ADHD and 736 without ADHD participated. Mean (standard deviation [SD]) age at diagnosis of ADHD was 20.0 (12.6) years (median 18.0) following consultation with 3.8 (5.1) doctors (median 2) over 44.6 (69.3) months (median 17.0). A total of 64.1% (377/588) of adults with ADHD reported frustration or difficulties during the diagnostic process. The ADHD group had a higher mean (SD) score versus control for general (3.3 [1.2] vs 2.1 [1.2]; p < 0.001) and school impairment (2.8 [0.7] vs 2.3 [0.6]; p < 0.001) but not home impairment (2.1 [0.5] for both groups).
The survey demonstrated that ADHD had a negative impact on all aspects of childhood investigated, as recalled by adults.
These data provide insights into childhood impairments and identify areas for improvement in the management and treatment of ADHD.
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