Rapid screening for cognitive deficits in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders with the screen for cognitive impairment in psychiatry

  • Smadar Valérie TourjmanEmail author
  • Stéphane Potvin
  • Fernando Corbalan
  • Akram Djouini
  • Scot E. Purdon
  • Emmanuel Stip
  • Robert-Paul Juster
  • Edouard Kouassi
Short Communication


Cognitive impairments constitute a core feature of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), but are infrequently assessed in the clinical setting. We have previously demonstrated the ability of an objective cognitive battery, the Screen for Cognitive Impairment in Psychiatry (SCIP), to differentiate adult ADHD patients from healthy controls in five cognitive domains. Here, we further characterize these subtle cognitive deficits by conducting additional univariate analyses on our ADHD dataset to assess the contributions of various demographic characteristics on SCIP performance and to determine correlations between SCIP scores and scores on other measures evaluating illness severity, perceived cognitive deficits, and overall functioning. Age and years of education were moderately associated with performance on the SCIP and/or its subscales in our ADHD cohort. The SCIP global index score was moderately correlated with clinician-rated measures of illness severity and weakly associated with clinician-rated overall functional status. Intriguingly, overall SCIP performance was only weakly associated with patient self-reported measures of cognitive functioning. Of practical importance, small-to-moderate associations were consistently observed between performances on two subscales of the SCIP and the other measures evaluating illness severity, overall functioning, and patient self-reported cognitive functioning (the working memory and visuomotor tracking subscales). Thus, these data demonstrate that the SCIP, particularly the working memory and visuomotor tracking subscales, is sensitive enough to detect cognitive deficits in adult patients with ADHD, and that these deficits are correlated with functional impairments. Furthermore, these data highlight the importance of integrating both objective and subjective evaluations of cognition in adult ADHD.


Cognition ADHD Brief cognitive assessment SCIP Subjective and objective assessment 



We thank the patients who agreed to participate in this study. We would also like to thank research coordinators Souad Lahlaffi and Patricia Gravel for their excellent support.


This work was supported by an unrestricted Grant from +Prends soin de toi+

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Scot E. Purdon receives royalties from sales of the Spanish version of the SCIP. Smadar Valérie Tourjman: speaker: Janssen, Lundbeck, Otsuka, Purdue, Shire, Sunovion; research funding: Janssen, Lundbeck, Pfizer, DiaMentis; board member: CANMAT, CADDRA. Stéphane Potvin receives grant from Otsuka pharmaceuticals. All other remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All participants provided written informed consent after study procedures were explained. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréall’Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  4. 4.Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de MontréalMontréalCanada

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