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Clinical service use as people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder transition into adolescence and adulthood: a prospective longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016

Documents

  • Clinical service use as people_EKLUND_Accepted 5Jul2016_GOLD VoR

    Clinical_service_use_as_people_EKLUND_Accepted_5Jul2016_GOLD_VoR.pdf, 477 KB, application/pdf

    28/07/2016

    Final published version

    CC BY

    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

King's Authors

Abstract

Background

While Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often persists into adulthood, little is known about the needs and service use among adolescents and young adults with ADHD. The present study followed-up a cohort diagnosed with ADHD as children and assessed their: 1) needs, 2) correlates of contact with clinical services, and 3) experiences of transition from child to adult health services.

Methods

Ninety one young people aged 14–24 were recruited from the UK subset of the International Multi-Centre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) Project. Affected young people and parents conducted face-to-face interviews and self-completion questionnaires including a modified version of the Client Services Receipt Inventory, The Barkley’s ADHD rating scale, The Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised, and the Zarit Burden Interview. Changes in key need characteristics (e.g. ADHD symptoms and impairments) over a 3-year period were examined using fixed effect models. Generalised Estimating Equations (GEE) were used to explore how key characteristics (such as ADHD symptoms) were associated with contact with clinical services across the three years.

Results

At baseline 62 % met diagnostic criteria for ADHD and presented with a range of ADHD related impairments, psychiatric comorbidities, and significant caregiver burden. While ADHD symptoms and related impairments lessened significantly over the three years, psychiatric comorbidities and caregiver burden remained stable. The strongest correlate of contact with clinical services was age (OR 0.65 95 % CI 0.49–0.84) with the odds of reported contact with clinical services decreasing by 35 % for each year increase in age at baseline and by 25 % for each year increase in age over time. Only 9 % of the sample had experienced a transfer to adult services, with the majority reporting unmet needs in healthcare transition.

Conclusions

Despite continuing needs, few were in contact with adult health services or had received sufficient help with transition between child and adult health services. The main determinant of health service use for adolescents and young adults with ADHD is age – not needs. Service models should address the needs of ADHD individuals who are no longer children.

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