Home » News » Improved Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Improved Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Traditionally, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been viewed as a childhood disorder, while ADHD in adults has been underdiagnosed and undertreated.

A recent study shows that treatment rates have been increasing in all age groups, and improved identification has contributed to rapidly growing treatment rates for adults.

Female patients show the greatest increase of all.

The study, published by SAGE in the May issue of the Journal of Attention Disorders, revealed rapid growth of ADHD medication use in all demographic groups except seniors, with some groups showing markedly faster rates than others.

Between 2000 and 2005, treatment rates grew more rapidly for adults than for children, more rapidly for women than for men, and more rapidly for girls than for boys.

Improved diagnosis of ADHD in adult and female patients contributed to the rapid growth in ADHD medication use.

The study found that there were many changes in the types of medications used, as well.

Researchers found that methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine use declined for both children and adults, the use of amphetamine mixtures increased for adults, atomoxetine use (introduced in 2002) grew rapidly across both groups, use of extended-release products increased in children more dramatically than adults, and generic ADHD medication use declined significantly in pediatric patients while remaining relatively stable in adults.

Screening measures, such as Psych Central’s ADHD Quiz, help both children and adults determine if they should seek out further assistance for ADHD from a mental health professional.

Source: SAGE

Improved Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Improved Adult ADHD Diagnosis. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.