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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 49 (2007) 5, 289 - 299

New research

Diagnostic assessment of adults referred to a university outpatient clinic for ADHD

M. Vegt, J.H.M. Tulen, H.R. van Tuijl, C.W. Twigt, M.W. Hengeveld

background Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) has always been classified as a psychiatric disorder of childhood. Very little research has been done into the nature of adult adhd.
aim To obtain insight into the clinical profile of a group of adults referred to an outpatient clinic for diagnostic assessment of adhd.
method A group of 225 adults diagnosed with adhd were studied and compared with 101 adults who had been referred to the same outpatient clinic but had been given a different diagnosis. All referred patients were diagnosed according to dsm-iv criteria for adhd and underwent neuropsychological tests.
results The diagnosis of adhd was confirmed in 69% of the patients. In the adhd group 72% were male and the average age was 32. Half of these patients had a co-morbid disorder. The 2 groups did not differ in psychopathology but the adhd group used nicotine and alcohol more frequently. Neuropsychological tests revealed more signs of subjective distractibility in the non-adhd group, whereas in the objective tests it was the adhd group who gave a poorer performance.
conclusion This study describes the clinical profile of a group of adults referred to an outpatient clinic for adhd. The adhd group differed from the non-adhd group in a number of demographical, psychiatric and neuropsychological parameters.

keywords ADHD, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, comorbidity, neuropsychology