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Keywords:

  • adults;
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder;
  • psychometrics;
  • objective measures

Abstract

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) occurs in approximately 5% of the adult population and includes cardinal symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity that may be difficult to identify with clinical routine methods. Continuous performance tests are objective measures of inattention and impulsivity that, combined with objective measures of motor activity, facilitate identification of ADHD among adults. The aim of the present study was to examine the sensitivity, specificity, and a composite measure of ADHD using objective measures of the ADHD-cardinal symptoms in adult participants with ADHD and non-ADHD normative participants. Cardinal symptoms were measured in 55 participants having ADHD, 202 non-ADHD normative participants, as well as 84 ADHD normative participants using the Quantified Behavior Test Plus. This test measures inattention and impulsivity using a continuous performance test, and hyperactivity using a motion-tracking system. A predictive variable for the detection of ADHD called Prediction of ADHD yielded 86% sensitivity and 83% specificity. A composite measure of ADHD cardinal symptoms was developed using a Weighed Core Symptoms scale that indicated the total amount of ADHD symptoms on a numeric scale from 0 to 100. The total amount of ADHD symptoms was measured on a scale and predicted with the categorical variable in a majority of the cases in the present study. Further studies are needed in order to confirm the results with regard to additional clinical and normative samples. Careful consideration of potential sex and diagnostic subtype differences are noteworthy aspects for future examinations of the new instruments.