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Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2004 Jun;27(2):187-201.

Diagnosis and evaluation of adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, FPO Offices, 530 First Avenue, Suite 5A, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Although some areas of adult ADHD knowledge remain unclear, there isa strong sense of how to proceed with diagnosis using current DSM-IV criteria as a guide. Thorough clinical interview, aided by the use of rating scales for current symptoms and collateral information about childhood from parents or siblings, forms the backbone of the assessment. The poor psychosocial outcomes of patients with ADHD. often a consequence of unrecognized,untreated disorder manifestation, also can serve as a diagnostic indicator. Diagnostic and symptom assessment scales also can be a significant helpin diagnosing and establishing the symptoms of ADHD in adults. It is important to remember that according to DSM-IV, the cardinal criteria for making the diagnosis are the presence of sufficient current symptoms and impairment in two realms (home, school/work, and social interactions). Accordingly, adult ADHD remains a clinical diagnosis, and the clinician-administered interview remains the cornerstone of diagnostic evaluation.

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