King's College London

Research portal

Fatigue in an adult ADHD population: a trans-diagnostic approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-52
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date5 Dec 2016
Accepted/In press21 Oct 2016
E-pub ahead of print5 Dec 2016
PublishedMar 2017


King's Authors


Trans-diagnostic approaches suggest that key cognitive and behavioural processesmaintain symptoms across a wide range of mental health disorders. This study aims to
1) investigate the prevalence of fatigue in adults with ADHD, 2) examine symptoms of ADHD in adults with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and 3) consider secondary clinical characteristics common to both disorder groups.
Measures of self-reported fatigue, ADHD symptomology (inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity) were compared across groups of adults with ADHD (N = 243), CFS (N =86) and healthy controls (N = 211) using a between-subjects cross-sectional design. Groups were also compared on secondary clinical measures of functional impairment,mood, anxiety, sleep, self-efficacy and their beliefs about the acceptability of expressing emotions.
The ADHD group were significantly more fatigued than healthy controls and ADHD symptomology was significantly greater in the CFS group than healthy controls. ADHD and CFS groups did not differ significantly on measures of functional impairment, mood and self-efficacy. No significant differences were detected on measures of anxiety when items relating to physical restlessness were removed.
Adults with ADHD experience greater fatigue than healthy controls. Adults with CFS and ADHD share many trans-diagnostic clinical characteristics, including difficulties with low mood, anxiety and reduced self-efficacy which impact upon their overall functioning. Further research is required to investigate extraneous factors mediating fatigue severity in these clinical groups.
Practitioner Points
*Fatigue is a common clinical feature of ADHD in adulthood
*Evidenced-based interventions for CFS could be adapted to address fatigue in adults ADHD

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454