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ADHD Influences Work Productivity

workerAccording to a new World Mental Health Survey, workers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do twenty-two days less work per year than people who do not have the disorder.

The study, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) is published online ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

So much work is being lost that the researchers recommend employers consider screening staff for ADHD and providing treatment for those affected, because it would be more cost-effective for their businesses.

People who have ADHD find it difficult to concentrate because they may be hyperactive, easily distracted, forgetful or impulsive. Children with the disorder are being increasingly diagnosed because they are likely to be tested for ADHD if they have problems with their schoolwork. However, many adults with ADHD do not know they have the condition.

More than 7,000 employed and self-employed workers aged 18-44 years were screened for ADHD as part of the World Health Organisation World Mental Health Survey Initiative. They were also asked about their performance at work in the last month.

On average 3.5 per cent of workers had ADHD. It was more prevalent in men and workers in developed rather than developing countries.

People with ADHD were found to spend 22.1 more days not doing work than other workers per year. This was made up of 8.4 days when they were unable to work or carry out their normal activities, plus 21.7 days of reduced work quantity and 13.6 days of reduced work quality.

The researchers, who are part of a WHO research consortium at Harvard Medical School, suggest adult ADHD might be a candidate for targeted workplace screening and treatment programs because cost-effective therapies exist which could improve some aspects of affected workers’ performance.

“It might be cost-effective from the employer perspective to implement workplace screening programmes and provide treatment for workers with ADHD,” they say.

The people studied came from Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain and the USA.

The paper is found at:

Source: British Medical Journal

ADHD Influences Work Productivity

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). ADHD Influences Work Productivity. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 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.