COSMIN database

Scales for the identification of adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): a systematic review

Taylor, A., Deb, S., and Unwin, G.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is prevalent in the adult population. The associated co-morbidities and impairments can be relieved with treatment. Therefore, several rating scales have been developed to identify adults with ADHD who may benefit from treatment. No systematic review has yet sought to evaluate these scales in more detail. The present systematic review was undertaken to describe the properties, including psychometric statistics, of the currently available adult ADHD rating scales and their scoring methods, along with the procedure for development. Descriptive synthesis of the data is presented and study quality has been assessed by an objective quality assessment tool. The properties of each scale are discussed to make judgements about their validity and usefulness. The literature search retrieved 35 validation studies of adult ADHD rating scales and 14 separate scales were identified. The majority of studies were of poor quality and reported insufficient detail. Of the 14 scales, the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating scale and the Wender Utah Rating Scale (short version) had more robust psychometric statistics and content validity. More research into these scales, with good quality studies, is needed to confirm the findings of this review. Future studies of ADHD rating scales should be reported in more detail so that further reviews have more support for their findings.
Res Dev Disabil
1873-3379 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Functional status:
Cognitive/mental functioning
Role functioning
Social functioning
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Mental and behavioural disorders and related symptoms
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
ADHD-RS - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale (versions: ADHD-RS IV; ADHD-RS V; ADHD-RS 18 items; ADHD-RS 10 items)
ADSA - Attention Deficit Scales for Adults
AHA - Assessment of Hyperactivity and Attention
APQ - Adult Problems Questionnaire
ARS - Adult Rating Scale
ASRS - Adult Self Report Scale
BADDS - Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scales
CAARS - Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale
Caterino Scale
CSS - Current Symptoms Scale
SI - Symptom Inventory
WURS - Wender Utah Rating Scale
YAQ - Young Adult Questionnaire
YARS - Young Adult Rating Scale