Daily life impairments associated with self-reported childhood/adolescent attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and experiences of diagnosis and treatment: results from the European Lifetime Impairment Survey

Eur Psychiatry. 2014 Jun;29(5):316-23. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2013.10.007. Epub 2013 Dec 16.


The Lifetime Impairment Survey assessed impairment and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children/adolescents from six European countries. Parents/caregivers of children/adolescents aged<20 years with ADHD (ADHD group; n = 535) and without ADHD (control group; n=424) participated in an online survey. History of ADHD diagnosis was self-reported. ADHD and control groups were compared using impairment and symptom scales; higher scores indicate greater impairment. Mean (SD) age at ADHD diagnosis was 7.0 (2.8) years, following consultation of 2.7 (2.6) doctors over 20.4 (23.9) months. Parents/caregivers (64%; 344/535) reported frustration with some aspect of the diagnostic procedure; 74% (222/298) were satisfied with their child's current medication. ADHD had a negative impact on children/adolescents in all aspects of life investigated. The ADHD group had a higher mean (SD) school impairment score (2.7 [0.7]) compared with the control group (2.1 [0.7]; P<0.001) and were more likely to be in the bottom of their class (P<0.001). These data provide insights into impairments associated with ADHD in childhood/adolescence, and identify areas for improvement in its management and treatment.

Keywords: ADHD; Diagnosis; Functional impairment; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / therapy
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents
  • Self Report