Severe ADHD lowers child quality of life

July 27, 2011 at 4:00 PM
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WACO, Texas, July 27 (UPI) -- The greater the severity of a child's attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms, the more negative the child's quality of life, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Christine Limbers, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, says the study compared children with ADHD in different types of treatment settings.

The researchers surveyed nearly 200 families and evaluated health-related quality of life and family functioning, such as physical, emotional, social and family relationships, from both the perspective of children with physician-diagnosed ADHD and their parents.

Researchers then compared those results to a sample of healthy children and to children with ADHD being seen in a psychiatric clinic.

The study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, found that children with ADHD treated by a pediatrician had better overall health-related quality of life and family functioning than children with ADHD being treated in a psychiatric clinic.

"These findings have potential implications for the healthcare needs of children with ADHD," Limbers says in a statement.

"The finding that overall agreement between children and parent ratings of the child's quality of life was low underscores the importance of evaluating both children's and parents' perspectives regarding quality of life in routine assessment in clinical practice and clinical trials for children with ADHD since their different perspectives potentially provide unique information."

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