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Vol. 8 - Num. 8

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

José Cristóbal Buñuel Álvareza

aPediatra. Área Básica de Salud Gerona-4. Instituto Catalán de la Salud. Gerona. España.

Reference of this article: Buñuel Álvarez JC. Diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2006;8 Supl 4:S25-3.

Published in Internet: 31-12-2006 - Visits: 8843

Abstract

The attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD), along with asthma and obesity, is one of the most prevalent diseases in childhood. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a correct diagnosis because an adequate treatment improves the prognosis of these patients. After reviewing the most recent clinical practice guidelines, the conclusion referring to the diagnosis of ADHD is: 1) Primary Care pediatricians (PCP) should have the necessary instruction to be able to carry out the assessment of a child with symptomatology that suggests an ADHD; 2) if there is associated comorbility or if there are doubts about the differential diagnosis, derivation to child psychiatry is recommended; 3) to establish the diagnosis of ADHD the PCP have to obtain information of the child?s conduct at home and at school, through an interview with the parents, the school teachers and the child, looking for symptomatology suggestive of ADHD; 4) the rating scales and questionnaires are instruments, along with others, to help establish the diagnosis but they are not by themselves the definite proof of the diagnosis; 5) a complete physical exploration is necessary to be able to determine if there is any neurological disease and/or vision and hearing problems which could interfere with the child?s capacity to pay attention; 6) it is not necessary to realize complementary exams (radiological, biochemical) if there is no a suspected disease to justify it.

Keywords

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder Clinical practice guidelines Diagnosis Primary health care

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