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The role of General Practitioners in ADHD diagnosis and management

The role of General Practitioners in ADHD diagnosis and management

3. Identifying ADHD

Identifying individuals at risk of ADHD is very complex. Although referrals to secondary care do not always result in diagnosis, over 70% of referrals do. It is important to remember that most individuals with ADHD do not come for help to primary care until they are at a point of crisis. In order to avoid having to refer individuals at crisis point, here are some tips to help identify individuals at risk of ADHD.

  • Listen to how the individuals describe their symptoms, the impact they have on their daily life, and their past case history.
  • Ask if other family members have experienced similar issues. Remember that ADHD is a genetic disorder.
  • Talk to the child and parent separately, bearing in mind that individuals might have minimal insight into their difficulties.
  • Bear in mind that individuals might not display symptoms during short consultations
  • Irrespective of the reasons for the consultation, ADHD may often be the explanation for the underlying problem
  • Ask how the individual is doing at school/work
  • It is important to try and triangulate agreements between the individual, school or work, and family. Identifying issues that all informants can agree upon. We have presented a short screening questionnaire earlier but examples of established questionnaires used in diagnosis for schools, parents and individuals will be available for download at the end of this resource.

Corrie now explains how her own diagnosis changed her practise and helps her identify ADHD

Established screening questionnaires for parents, school and individuals can be found in the resources section at the end of this program.

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