Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a well-recognized public health problem which spread like an epidemic in the past several decades. Some health care professionals argue that the rise of ADHD among children and adolescents is the result of inadequate diagnosis and social and educational environments (Newmark, 2015).
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The purpose of this quantitative study is to evaluate current clinical evidence on the value of different diagnostic tests of children and adolescents with ADHD in social and educational contexts, in order to answer the question of whether they should be routinely performed and whether there is a connection between diagnosis and societal pressure. The main issue regarding the assessment and diagnosis of children and adolescents with ADHD is the fact that current diagnostic tests might not be effective due to the influence of external factors such as social and educational context.
ADHD is the most common health condition which affects the well-being and academic performance of more than 6.4 million children in the US (Data & Statistics, 2016). Individuals who suffer from ADHD exhibit a number of behavioral problems: they are unable to concentrate on a single task for long, and report cases of restlessness, hyperactivity and in some cases anxiety (Wolraich, 2006, p. 87).
Although this condition is not life-threatening, if left untreated, it significantly impacts the individual’s quality of life and frequently leads to other dangerous disorders such as substance abuse disorder (Wilens, 2004, p. 38).
In the past three decades, the number of patients diagnosed with ADHD increased three times (Data & Statistics, 2016). The main issue regarding the assessment and diagnosis of children with ADHD is the fact that the diagnosis is contextual. Some researchers argue that the application of current diagnostic tests might not represent the actual prevalence of ADHD due to societal pressure, in particular, the demands either parents or schools made on children.
For instance, such factors, as the age of the child within a grade, might have an impact on child behavior. The issue of improper diagnosis is particularly worrisome since many of these children and adolescents are prescribed psychostimulants to treat ADHD. It is necessary to apply the evidence-based approach to make informed diagnostic decisions. In order to provide a better quality diagnosis for children and adolescents with ADHD, medical professionals in charge of their care have to consult the current best evidence to improve the quality of health care.
Data & Statistics. (2016).
as little as 3 hours
Newmark, S. (2015). A True ADHD Epidemic or an Epidemic of Overdiagnosis?
Wilens, T. (2004). Impact of ADHD and Its Treatment on Substance Abuse in Adults. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65, 38-45.
Wolraich, M. (2006). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Infants & Young Children, 19(2), 86-93.