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Postgrad Med. 2009 Sep;121(5):7-10. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2009.09.2047.

Screening and imputed prevalence of ADHD in adult patients with comorbid substance use disorder at a residential treatment facility.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, 10010, USA. lenard.adler@nyumc.org



Although attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a common comorbidity in individuals who are diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD), little data currently exist on the utility of screening tools in large samples of adults with SUD in inpatient treatment and the prevalence of ADHD in this population. The aims of this study were to assess the screen positive rate on the Adult ADHD Self Report Scale (ASRS) v.1.1 Screener in a large sample of adults being treated for SUD in a residential treatment facility (RTF) and to establish the imputed prevalence of adult ADHD.


Adults with SUD who were either newly admitted (abstinent for < 1 week) or in treatment in the RTF (abstinent < 3 months) were administered the ASRS v.1.1 Screener. Adults who screened positive on the ASRS v1.1 Screener (>or= 4/6 significant items) were then administered the Adult Clinician Diagnostic Scale (ACDS) v.1.2 to establish a diagnosis of ADHD and the positive predictive value (PPV) in this population. The imputed prevalence of adult ADHD was calculated based on the known rate of ADHD in the screened positive cohort and a calculated rate of ADHD in the screened negative sample based on prior studies of the ASRS v1.1 Screener in community-based and managed care samples.


1064 adults were screened via the ASRS v.1.1 Screener, with 92 screening positive (8.6% had >or= 4 significant items present). Fifty-three of those who screened positive were diagnosed as having adult ADHD (PPV = 57.6%). The imputed prevalence of adult ADHD in this population was 7.5%.


The PPV for the ASRS v1.1 Screener for adult ADHD in this sample of adults with SUD was similar to that observed in a prior study of a managed care sample, but was somewhat less than that observed in the community-based sample. The imputed prevalence rate for comorbid ADHD in this study of adults with SUD in a RTF was similar to, but slightly lower than the prevalence rate of ADHD in patients with any SUD observed in the community-based sample.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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