Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common (5-10%) childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorder worldwide among children and adolescents with 50- 60% persistence to adulthood (3-4%). Individuals with ADHD have been reported to have higher risk of school failure, conduct problems, antisocial behaviors, legal problems, substance use problems and other psychiatric comorbidities, and face many difficulties of the interpersonal relationship, occupation and family in every day life. Despite plenty of researches reported in the west countries, we have limited information in Taiwan about adult ADHD and the associated impact on the function and quality of life of the affected individuals. For the perspective of public health, it's mandatory to collect information from the high risk populations of ADHD for further policy establishment to prevent further impact on individuals, families, and society in Taiwan.
This study target on two populations: (1) imprisoned adults (2) adolescents with problems in school and followed by three private charitable organizations. Each population is assessed by the instruments for ADHD symptoms (ASRS and SNAP-IV), psychopathology (ASRI and/or YSR and CBCL), and academic/social/occupational /family function (WFIRS-S, WFIRS-P). Adult population is also checked for the quality of life (AAQoL). We will recruit the community-based controls matching with sex and age is assessed with the same instruments.
We anticipate that this study will provide the primitive data on the prevalence of ADHD and other psychopathology, academic/occupational/social/family function, quality of life of adolescent and adult patients in the high risk populations, will evaluate the difference between adults in prison, adolescents dropping out from school, and their community controls with regards to symptomatology, quality of life, and function; and young psychiatric researchers will learn to collect data, conduct statistical analysis, and prepare the manuscript. Our findings should have clinical implication in assessing adults and adolescents at high risk of ADHD and provide the reference data for future public health policy planning regarding early identification of ADHD at childhood and intervention program to offset the adverse social and academic/occupational sequalae of ADHD.