A systematic review conducted on studies reporting on the instruments used in the assessment of adult ADHD
Robertson, Gerschwin Carl
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The diagnosis of adult ADHD is a complex process that requires information from different sources. Instruments are used to screen or diagnose adult ADHD. The aim of the study was to identify instruments measuring adult ADHD from good quality research. This systematic review was executed following the recommended PRISMA steps. A comprehensive search was conducted across identified databases. The SFS scoring system was used to critically appraise for methodological rigour and coherence. Meta-synthesis was used to summarize extracted data from 26 articles included in the final summation. Ethics clearance was issued by the UWC Senate Research Committee. Sixteen instruments measuring adult ADHD were identified. Screening instruments measure core symptoms whereas diagnostic instruments assess all criteria. Fourteen instruments were based on DSM-IV criteria and four were based on DSM-V criteria for adult ADHD including rival explanations for the symptoms. The lack of adoption of DSM-V criteria remains a concern given criticism against DSV-IV criteria for adult ADHD. Overall instruments presented acceptable psychometric properties. However, the performance of the instruments was study dependent. A cautionary note is that these indices must be interpreted carefully. Further research must explore the reasons underlying the lack of adoption of DSM-V criteria in research, and the lack of revision of instruments measuring adult ADHD.