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Diagnosis, treatment, and burden of illness among adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in Europe

Authors Able SL, Haynes V, Hong J

Received 19 March 2014

Accepted for publication 18 June 2014

Published 28 July 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 21—33


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Stephen L Able,1 Virginia Haynes,1 Jihyung Hong2

1Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2Eli Lilly and Company, Windlesham, UK

Purpose: To quantitatively address the burden of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Europe (Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands), to describe adult experience leading to diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, and to compare those findings with results from the US.
Survey respondents and methods: Data were collected from an international web-based survey of adults from Europe and the US. Sociodemographics, comorbidities, work productivity/activity impairments, and health care utilization of adults reporting an ADHD diagnosis (n=431) and a similar number of adults without ADHD (n=449) were compared. Respondents' experiences with the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and the perceived effects of the condition on psychosocial functioning were assessed. In addition, multivariate regression analyses were performed to compare the burden of ADHD between the two regions.
Results: Adults with ADHD in both regions were generally less likely to be married, employed, or rate their health as good/very good/excellent and were more likely to smoke, have experienced alcoholism, have other mental health conditions, have work productivity/activity impairments, and use health care resources. Although the specialties of health care professionals consulted prior to diagnosis were similar between the two regions, there was a notable difference in the length of time it took to receive a first ADHD diagnosis. Only 55% of European respondents received a diagnosis within 6 months of their first physician consultation regarding their ADHD symptoms, compared to 90% in the US. The results of regression analyses confirmed a greater impact of ADHD on psychosocial functioning, work productivity impairments, and the total number of provider visits in Europe.
Conclusion: The results revealed a significant impact of ADHD on adults over a range of outcomes, including social, family, and work relationships, health-related work productivity impairment, and health care resource use, with a generally greater burden of illness among European study participants than those from the US.

Keywords: ADHD, adults, treatment, diagnosis, burden, Europe, US

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