Health-related quality of life and burden of illness in adults with newly diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Sweden

BMC Psychiatry. 2018 Jul 13;18(1):223. doi: 10.1186/s12888-018-1803-y.


Background: This observational, cross-sectional, retrospective chart review aimed to identify factors determining health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adults with newly diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Sweden.

Methods: Adult participants with a new clinical diagnosis of ADHD were enrolled from two specialist outpatient clinics in Stockholm, Sweden, from 2013 to 2015. Data extracted from patient records included demographics, clinical characteristics and comorbid psychiatric diagnoses identified using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Depression severity was assessed using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale - Self-reported (MADRS-S). The self-rated five-dimension EuroQol questionnaire (EQ-5D) was used to measure HRQoL. Predictors of EQ-5D index score were identified using multivariate linear regression adjusting for age, sex, education level, and main income source.

Results: The mean age of the 189 enrolled patients was 35.2 years (standard deviation [SD], 12.3), and 107 (57%) were female. Psychiatric comorbidities were present in 92 patients (49%), with anxiety and depression being the most common diagnoses. The mean EQ-5D index score was 0.63 (SD, 0.28). Low EQ-5D index scores were significantly associated with high MADRS-S scores, multiple comorbid psychiatric disorders, low educational achievement, female sex, and not having a main income derived from employment or self-employment.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that adults with newly diagnosed ADHD experience low HRQoL, which may often be exacerbated by psychiatric comorbidities such as anxiety and depression. Patients presenting with ADHD and psychiatric comorbidities in adulthood may require particular care and resources in the management of their ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; HRQoL; Psychiatric comorbidities.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety* / diagnosis
  • Anxiety* / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Depression* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Report
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology