Implications for practitioner diagnosis of Adult ADHD in a primary care setting

Tamela R Sadler, Tennessee State University


The purpose of the study was to examine the accuracy of self-referred diagnosis of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (A-ADHD) in a primary care setting and to assist in identifying a means for accurate diagnosis in a time-limited environment. Specifically, the factors of interest were the correlation of scores on the Wender-Utah Rating Scale, the Digit Span subscale of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale and the activity level and stimulus seeking subscales of the Personality Assessment Inventory to a diagnosis of A-ADHD. Archival data collected on 84 subjects were used with permission of the clinic director. Academically, analysis indicated a significant relationship among the Wender-Utah Rating Scale and the stimulus seeking subscale of the PAI. Specifically, the Wender-Utah Rating Scale score was positively and significantly related to the stimulus seeking score of the PAI. Analysis of the participant’s final diagnosis after being self-referred for A-ADHD indicated that self-referral and diagnosis were only accurate for an A-ADHD outcome in 28 of the participants. Results of the study did not support the hypotheses that A-ADHD can be accurately diagnosed using the Wender-Utah Rating Scales with the Digit Span subscale of the WAIS and the Stimulus Seeking and Activity Level Subscales of the PAI as a brief screener in a self-referred population. Findings support the practice of comprehensive clinical assessment over brief screener and self-referral for accurate diagnosis of AADHD and differential diagnosis of other mental issues. This study offers insight into areas of practice expansion and research for psychology.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Tamela R Sadler, "Implications for practitioner diagnosis of Adult ADHD in a primary care setting" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3320161.