Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that is characterised by difficulties in concentrating, being overactive and acting without thinking. If there are only symptoms of problems with paying attention and few difficulties with hyperactivity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is diagnosed. The symptoms of ADHD are present from a young age and most people are diagnosed between 6 and 12 years of age.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood psychiatric disorders. It was traditionally thought that the disorder resolved during late adolescence or early adulthood. However, more recent studies have found that clinical symptoms and psychosocial impairments persist and by age 25 years 15% retain the full diagnosis with a further 50% in partial remission.
Difficulties in recognising adult ADHD can arise due to differences in symptomatology across the life-span, presence of co-morbid mental health disorders, stigma or a lack of services.
Suspected or previous ADHD diagnosis
No previous assessment --> Adults who have not previously had an assessment for ADHD can access an assessment through Core Clinical. We suggest you attend your GP to discuss the reasons you think you may have ADHD and ask your GP if they feel an assessment would be helpful. If you are attending a mental health team, they could also offer an opinion as to the likelihood of you having ADHD and make a referral on your behalf.
Previous assessment --> If you have a previous diagnosis of ADHD, we suggest you seek a copy of the assessment report, either from the service you attended or your GP, and include these with your referral to Core Clinical. Often, a full new assessment is not required but an updated review of your dififculties, impact on daily life and need for treatment is essential. On receiving a referral containing your previous report we can arrange a suitable first appointment to address these questions.
ADHD Clinical Assessment
What to Expect on the Day of Assessment
The initial assessment will take approximately two hours and is conducted by a consultant psychiatrist. This assessment will include a complete review of ADHD related difficulties and symptoms, personal, psychiatric and medical history (including a personal or family history of heart disease), neurodevelopmental history and mental health evaluation.
You will be asked to complete a number of screening and information questionnaires prior to the appointment and during the assessment a Conner’s Adult ADHD Diagnostic Interview for DSM (CAADID) will be completed.
It would be helpful if you could bring:
· Any school reports you may have
· Previous assessment reports, such as from a psychiatrist, psychologist or paediatrician
A collateral history is usually taken on the day of your assessment, from a parent or someone who knew you well when you were a child. It would be helpful if they can accompany you to the assessment.
Sometimes the assessment process takes more than one meeting and you may meet more than one member of the adult ADHD team, such as the psychiatrist, psychologist or occupational therapist.
The clinical assessment information and results of the structured assessment, alongside referral information and additional reports are collated by your psychiatrist to reach a diagnostic opinion. These findings will be discussed with you after the assessment process by your psychiatrist. During this session you will be told if you have adult ADHD or not.
If you have adult ADHD you will be told about the treatment options available in the Adult ADHD Service. These options include further information about what ADHD is and straightforward things to help you manage your difficulties, as well as medication and psychological therapy options.
If you do not have adult ADHD you will be advised where you can go for further help and support. This may include returning to your GP for onward referral to a local adult psychiatrist or other clinical discipline.
ADHD Support and Intervention
Core Clinical Adult ADHD Service provides structured assessment and evidence-based multi-modal interventions to adults with suspected or previously-diagnosed ADHD.
We are happy to discuss with you both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options available for ADHD, the risks and benefits of each approach and to assist you in reaching a decision regarding the best option for you. Not all patients diagnosed with ADHD require follow-up or intervention services but where follow-up is appropriate and required it will be offered. After a period, many patients return to their GP and attend Core Clinical for yearly medication review in line with international best practice guidelines.