Increasing numbers of adults are seeking out assessment and treatment for ADHD. However, ADHD is considered to be one of the most misdiagnosed conditions, being prone to both over-and under-diagnosis. This presentation provides a model for a comprehensive diagnostic assessment of ADHD in adults that can be tailored and used by clinicians in practice to increase diagnostic accuracy. Issues related to DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for ADHD, presenting symptoms and problems characteristic of ADHD that are not included in the official criteria, the prevalence and persistence of ADHD into adulthood, testing for ADHD, the issue of malingering, as well as telling clients when their difficulties are not consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD will be discussed. Objectives:
Cite the components required for a diagnosis of ADHD in adulthood as defined by DSM-5, including the recent modifications for adults and ongoing limitations.
Summarize models that provide a wider view of symptoms of ADHD beyond those outlined in DSM-5 criteria in order to adequately assess for the presence of the ADHD symptoms drawing from contemporary etiologic models of ADHD.
Cite at least one source of corroborative information that can be used to augment patient self-report.
Identify at least one way in which testing can aid in the evaluation of ADHD and one way in which testing may hinder the identification of adult ADHD in adults.
Name at least one clinical inventory that can be used as a part of an adult ADHD evaluation in clinical practice.
About Dr. Ramsay: Dr. J. Russell (“Russ”) Ramsay is co-founder and co-director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program and an associate professor of clinical psychology in the department of psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ramsay received his PhD in clinical psychology from Palo Alto University. He completed an APA-approved pre-doctoral internship at CPC Behavioral Healthcare in Red Bank, New Jersey, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ramsay has authored numerous peer-reviewed professional and scientific articles, research abstracts, as well as many book chapters. He is author of Nonmedication Treatments for Adult ADHD (2010); Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD (with Dr. Anthony Rostain, 2015), which is in its second edition; and its companion patient guidebook, The Adult ADHD Tool Kit (also with Dr. Anthony Rostain, 2015). The Adult ADHD Tool Kit has been translated into Spanish (Kindle version), French-Canadian, and is in the process of being translated to Korean. It has been designated as a recommended self-help book by the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Dr. Ramsay was an invited contributor to the American Psychological Association’s Psychotherapy Video Training Series with the video, Adults with ADHD. His most recent book is Rethinking Adult ADHD: Helping Clients Turn Intentions into Action (2020).
Dr. Ramsay is an inductee in the CHADD Hall of Fame and received the Szuba Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching & Research from the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Attention Disorders. He has served terms on the Professional Advisory Boards (PAB) of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (including serving as PAB co-chair), CHADD, and on the Board of the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD). He is a regular blogger through the Psychology Today website.
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