ADHD Tests Lead to Mass Overdiagnosis, Researchers Warn

This article by Peter Simons has been published by Mad in America. It begins:

“ADHD rating scales and screening measures lead to a high number of people inappropriately diagnosed with ADHD, according to a study in the Journal of Attention Disorders. Specifically, the existing measures lead to a large number of false positives—people who don’t actually meet the criteria for ADHD but are still diagnosed with it anyway.

The study was conducted by Allyson G. Harrison and Melanie J. Edwards at Queens University, Canada. Their results focused on ADHD diagnoses given to young adults (like college-aged kids).

“Clinicians who use self-report screening tests or who administer semi-structured interviews need to be aware that a positive screening outcome, especially in a clinical setting, has an extremely high false positive rate and a low positive predictive value,” they write.

In order to analyze how well the existing measures for ADHD diagnosis performed, Harrison and Edwards conducted a systematic review that included all studies that provided data on the accuracy of the tests. They found only 20 studies that actually included enough information to assess diagnostic accuracy. There were seven different ADHD scales used in the studies …”

You can read more from here.

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