Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)


Defined in ICD-10 as part of Hyperkinetic disorder (a more severe form of ADHD).  Requires the following to be present:

  • Developmentally inappropriate levels of:
    • Inattention AND
    • Hyperactivity AND
    • Impulsivity
  • Persisting for >6 month and be significantly impairing and pervasive across domains
    • Must also be in children <7 years (older and it is counted as manic).

Why is it important?

2/3rds of adults who had ADHD as a child continue to have problems as adults.


Full assessment involving interviews with parents and child (alone/together), as well as information from schools, physical evaluation and cognitive tests should be done.


Psychoeducation- inform the parents and child about ADHD, give them resources and advice about treatments.  Inform the GP and school.

Specific treatments

NB in children <6 years old, there are issues of diagnostic uncertainty so pharmacological treatment is not recommended and does not have a large evidence base.  If <6- parent training programmes are most commonly used.

  • Psychological
    • Parent training
    • Behavioural classroom management strategies
    • Social skill
    • Diet: elimination and supplementation
  • Pharmacological
    • Methylphenidate
    • Dexamfetamine
    • Atomoxetine

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