Validity of Visual and Auditory Attention Tests for Detecting ADHD

J Atten Disord. 2021 Jun;25(8):1160-1169. doi: 10.1177/1087054719887433. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


Objective: This investigation examines the discriminative validity of visual and auditory attention tests for differentiating patients with ADHD from healthy control participants. Method: A total of 107 ADHD patients and 58 healthy control participants were recruited. Visual and auditory attention profiles were obtained using the Conners' Continuous Performance Test 3rd Edition (CPT3) and Conners' Continuous Auditory Test of Attention (CATA), respectively. Results: We found that ADHD patients underperformed healthy controls on all CPT3 and CATA indexes, except Response Style and Hit Reaction Time. The CPT3, CATA, and CPT3 plus CATA all significantly differentiate ADHD patients and controls. CPT3 plus CATA had a greater sensitivity (82.6%), specificity (76%), positive predictive value (88.8%), negative predictive value (65.5%), and overall correct classification rate (80.6%) than CPT3 or CATA alone. Conclusion: Neuropsychological tests CPT3 and CATA provide objective information about cases of ADHD and should be used routinely for clinical assessment.

Keywords: ADHD; auditory attention; clinical symptoms; neuropsychological test; visual attention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / diagnosis
  • Cognition
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time