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Quality of Life Research

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 795–799 | Cite as

ADHD burden of illness in older adults: a life course perspective

  • Meryl BrodEmail author
  • Eva Schmitt
  • Marc Goodwin
  • Paul Hodgkins
  • Gwendolyn Niebler
Brief Communication

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the burden of illness and impact on patients’ quality of life (QoL) experiences in older ADHD adults.

Methods

Telephone interviews were conducted with older adult participants diagnosed with ADHD later in life. Transcripts were analyzed following a grounded theory approach.

Results

Mean age of participants (N = 24) was 66 years, and mean age at diagnosis was 57 years; 68% were men and 63% reported other comorbid mental health conditions. ADHD symptoms reported were inattention (71%), impulsivity (58%), hyperactivity (54%), and disorganization (54%). The majority of participants (63%) experienced an accumulated lifetime burden of illness and reported being financially less-well-off, had lower educational achievement, job performance, and greater social isolation due to their ADHD. Older adults reported significantly greater impairments in productivity (P ≤ 0.02) and a better life outlook (P ≤ 0.05) than younger ADHD adults.

Conclusions

Older adults’ QoL suffers from the accumulative negative impact of ADHD symptoms/impairments on their professional, economic, social, and emotional well-being.

Keywords

Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity Quality of life Adult Aged 

Abbreviations

AAQoL

Adult ADHD quality of life measure

ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meryl Brod
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eva Schmitt
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marc Goodwin
    • 4
  • Paul Hodgkins
    • 5
  • Gwendolyn Niebler
    • 6
  1. 1.The Brod GroupMill ValleyUSA
  2. 2.Institute on AgingSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Hebrew SeniorLife, Institute for Aging ResearchBostonUSA
  4. 4.University of California BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.Shire PharmaceuticalsWayneUSA
  6. 6.Cephalon, Inc.FrazerUSA

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