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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2016 Nov;25(11):1217-1231. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

The impact of ADHD on the health and well-being of ADHD children and their siblings.

Author information

School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield, S1 4DA, UK.
North East London Foundation Trust and University College of London, London, UK.
School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), Regent Court, 30 Regent Street, Sheffield, S1 4DA, UK.
The Department of Psychiatry, The University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.
Division of Psychiatry & Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
Medway NHS Foundation Trust, Kent, UK.
Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK.
Global HEOR and Epidemiology, Shire, 725 Chesterbrook Boulevard, Wayne, PA 19087, USA.
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lincolnshire, UK.
Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.


Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with reduced health and well-being of patients and their families. The authors undertook a large UK survey-based observational study of the burden associated with childhood ADHD. The impact of ADHD on both the patient (N = 476) and their siblings (N = 337) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and happiness was quantified using multiple standard measures [e.g. child health utility-9D (CHU-9D), EuroQol-5D-Youth]. In the analysis, careful statistical adjustments were made to ensure a like-for-like comparison of ADHD families with two different control groups. We controlled for carers' ADHD symptoms, their employment and relationship status and siblings' ADHD symptoms. ADHD was associated with a significant deficit in the patient's HRQoL (with a CHU-9D score of around 6 % lower). Children with ADHD also have less sleep and were less happy with their family and their lives overall. No consistent decrement to the HRQoL of the siblings was identified across the models, except that related to their own conduct problems. The siblings do, however, report lower happiness with life overall and with their family, even when controlling for the siblings own ADHD symptoms. We also find evidence of elevated bullying between siblings in families with a child with ADHD. Overall, the current results suggest that the reduction in quality of life caused by ADHD is experienced both by the child with ADHD and their siblings.


ADHD; Burden; CHU-9D; Children; EQ-5D-Y; Health-related quality of life; Impact of ADHD on family outcomes; Life satisfaction; Siblings; Sleep; Utility; Well-being

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Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with ethical standardsConflict of interestThis study was funded by Shire Development, LLC and two of the authors were working at Shire at the time of writing.A.B. has provided educational talks for Eli Lilly and Co. and Shire. He has attended educational meetings fully sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co. D.C. has received research funding from Shire and Vifor, is honoraria for lecturing and/or advisory boards for Shire, Janssen Cilag, Eli Lilly and Co., Vifor, Novartis, Flynn Pharma, Sandoz, Medice. D.C. receives royalties from Oxford University Press. D.D. has provided educational talks for Eli Lilly and Co. and Shire, has attended an advisory board for Eli Lilly and Co. He has received support for educational travel from Eli Lilly and Co., Shire, and HP Pharma, and has held research funding from Shire. D.D. has also received royalties from the sale of the step by step help for parents of children with ADHD. V.H. has spoken at educational meetings sponsored by Shire, Eli Lilly and Janssen. She has also had unrestricted research grant funding from Shire and Lilly and worked with them on clinical trials. In the last 3 years E.J.S.S.-B. has received speaker fees, consultancy, research funding and/or conference support from: Shire, Janssen-Cilag, Neurotech solutions, Medice and the Universities of Leuven, Aarhus and Copenhagen. He has received book royalties from Oxford University Press and Jessica Kingsley, the latter related to the New Forest Parenting Programme. P.H. and J.S. are former employees of Shire Pharmaceuticals.

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