New Data on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis experiences – 9/3/15

A new CDC National Health Statistics Report, published by researchers from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the National Center on Health Statistics, describes Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis experiences among a representative sample of US children as of 2011-2012.

According to this report:

  • About half of the children, regardless of age at diagnosis, were first diagnosed by a primary care physician
  • 9 in 10 children were diagnosed through the use of behavior rating scales or checklists
  • 1 in 3 children with ADHD was diagnosed before the age of 6
  • An adult outside of the family was usually involved in the diagnostic process

This report provides insight into who is diagnosing ADHD and what methodologies are being used to determine the diagnosis. This is important information for healthcare providers, public health officials, and researchers who seek to determine how closely current practice matches with best practice for diagnosing ADHD.

Data from the 2014 National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Tourette Syndrome (NS-DATA) were used for this report. The NS-DATA survey, a follow-up survey of the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), collected information from parents who had previously reported in the NSCH that their child had been diagnosed with ADHD.

CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) is committed to helping children live to the fullest by understanding developmental disabilities, such as ADHD.

We invite you to read a summary of the key findings from this report, as well as the full report. You may also visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/index.html to learn more about NCBDDD’s work on ADHD.

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