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Review: ADHD impairs quality of life, but children and young people with ADHD perceive less impairment than parents

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What is the impact of ADHD and its management on quality of life (QoL) of children?


Quality of life (QoL) as assessed by the parent or child/adolescent using any instrument. The included studies used mainly generic instruments including: the Child Health Questionnaire, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, Youth Quality of Life Instrument-Research Version, the Munich Quality of Life Questionnaire for Children, the Dutch Child AZL TNO Quality of Life, the TNO AZL Child Quality of Life, the EuroQoL Five-Dimension Questionnaire, standard gamble interviews and the Global Impression of Perceived Difficulties. The only disorder-specific measure used was the ADHD Impact Module.



Systematic review.

Data sources:

Ovid MEDLINE (R), Cochrane database of systematic reviews, ACP Journal Club, DARE, CCTR, CMR, HTA, NHSEED, EMBASE and PsychINFO were searched for the period between 1988 and April 2008. Hand-searches of reference lists of identified papers and reviews was also carried out.

Study selection and analysis:

Studies published in peer-reviewed journals providing empirical data on the QoL of children or adolescents with ADHD were included. All abstracts and the full texts of the selected papers were assessed by two authors. Data were extracted by one author and checked by two other authors. Results …

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  • Sources of funding This paper was derived from a work group meeting of the European ADHD guidelines group. The meeting costs were supported by Elli Lilly, Janssen-Cilag, and Novartis and Shire.


  • Competing interests SC has received financial support to attend medical meetings from Eli Lilly & Company and Shire Pharmaceuticals, and has been co-investigator in studies sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly & Company, and Genopharm. He serves as a consultant for Shire Pharmaceuticals.

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