ADHD is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.1
DSM-5® DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR ADHD IN ADULTS1
All criteria must be met for a diagnosis of ADHD in adults1:
Five or more symptoms of inattention and/or ≥5 symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity must have persisted for ≥6 months to a degree that is inconsistent with the developmental level and negatively impacts social and academic/occupational activities.
Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) were present before the age of 12 years.
Several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) must be present in ≥2 settings (eg, at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with or reduce the quality of social, academic, or occupational functioning.
Symptoms do not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder, and are not better explained by another mental disorder (eg, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, personality disorder, substance intoxication, or withdrawal).
Diagnosis should be based on a complete history and evaluation of the patient.
Among other criteria that must be met for a diagnosis of ADHD,
several symptoms (inattentive or hyperactive/impulsive) must be present in
2 or more settings (eg, at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities).
American Psychiatric Association. Attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
Murphy KR, Adler LA. Assessing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults: focus on rating scales. J Clin Psychiat. 2004;65[suppl 3]:12-17.
Adler L, Cohen BA. Diagnosis and evaluation of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2004;27:187-201.
Kessler RC, Adler L, Ames M, et al. The World Health Organization adult ADHD self-report scale (ASRS): a short screening scale for use in the general population. Psychol Med. 2005;35:245-256.
Kessler RC, Green JG, Adler LA, et al. Structure and diagnosis of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(11):1168-1178.
Goodman DW. ADHD in adults: update for clinicians on diagnosis and assessment. Prim Psychiatry. 2009;16(11):21-30.
DSM-5® is a registered trademark of the American Psychiatric Association.
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