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01-06-2012 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 5/2012

Quality of Life Research 5/2012

ADHD burden of illness in older adults: a life course perspective

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 5/2012
Meryl Brod, Eva Schmitt, Marc Goodwin, Paul Hodgkins, Gwendolyn Niebler
Belangrijke opmerkingen
G. Niebler—formerly with Shire Pharmaceuticals, Wayne, PA, USA.



To explore the burden of illness and impact on patients’ quality of life (QoL) experiences in older ADHD adults.


Telephone interviews were conducted with older adult participants diagnosed with ADHD later in life. Transcripts were analyzed following a grounded theory approach.


Mean age of participants (N = 24) was 66 years, and mean age at diagnosis was 57 years; 68% were men and 63% reported other comorbid mental health conditions. ADHD symptoms reported were inattention (71%), impulsivity (58%), hyperactivity (54%), and disorganization (54%). The majority of participants (63%) experienced an accumulated lifetime burden of illness and reported being financially less-well-off, had lower educational achievement, job performance, and greater social isolation due to their ADHD. Older adults reported significantly greater impairments in productivity (P ≤ 0.02) and a better life outlook (P ≤ 0.05) than younger ADHD adults.


Older adults’ QoL suffers from the accumulative negative impact of ADHD symptoms/impairments on their professional, economic, social, and emotional well-being.

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