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      Advancing services for adult ADHD: the development of the ADHD Star as a framework for multidisciplinary interventions

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          Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is prevalent in adulthood, resulting in serious impairment across multiple domains of living. Despite clinical guidance recommendations, the relative infancy of research on service provision for adults with ADHD, along with the evidence transfer gap, means that there is a lack of specific frameworks for service delivery. Igniting research and developing service delivery frameworks within adult ADHD is an essential step in the provision of effective services for adults with ADHD.


          Following the methodology used in previous related research that utilises a Participatory Action Research approach, we gathered data from clinicians and service users on the domains of living in which they wish to create change, and the steps and end point of the change process. This data was utilised, alongside data gathered from previous research and policies, to develop the domains of assessment for the ADHD Star, and the scale on which change is assessed.


          The resulting tool, the ADHD Star, consists of eight domains: understanding your ADHD, focus and attention, organising yourself, friends and social life, thinking and reacting, physical health, how you feel and meaningful use of time. Each domain is rated on a five-point scale, the ‘ladder of change’, ranging from ‘stuck’ to ‘choice’.


          The ADHD Star offers a guiding framework for the development of care pathways and subsequent service provision for adults with ADHD, based on multi-disciplinary, holistic and person-centred care.

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          Most cited references 41

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          The age-dependent decline of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analysis of follow-up studies.

          This study examined the persistence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) into adulthood. We analyzed data from published follow-up studies of ADHD. To be included in the analysis, these additional studies had to meet the following criteria: the study included a control group and it was clear from the methods if the diagnosis of ADHD included subjects who did not meet full criteria but showed residual and impairing signs of the disorder. We used a meta-analysis regression model to separately assess the syndromatic and symptomatic persistence of ADHD. When we define only those meeting full criteria for ADHD as having 'persistent ADHD', the rate of persistence is low, approximately 15% at age 25 years. But when we include cases consistent with DSM-IV's definition of ADHD in partial remission, the rate of persistence is much higher, approximately 65%. Our results show that estimates of ADHD's persistence rely heavily on how one defines persistence. Yet, regardless of definition, our analyses show that evidence for ADHD lessens with age. More work is needed to determine if this reflects true remission of ADHD symptoms or is due to the developmental insensitivity of diagnostic criteria for the disorder.
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            Mortality in children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide cohort study.

            Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder associated with factors that are likely to increase mortality, such as oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder, criminality, accidents, and substance misuse. However, whether ADHD itself is associated with increased mortality remains unknown. We aimed to assess ADHD-related mortality in a large cohort of Danish individuals.
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              Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis, lifespan, comorbidities, and neurobiology.

              In this report, we provide an evidence-based overview of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including diagnosis, prevalence, developmental expression of symptoms, persistence, the heterogeneity of functional outcome, impairment in afflicted adults, psychiatric comorbidity, pathophysiology, genetics, psychosocial and biologic risk factors, and neurobiology. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is an early-onset, highly prevalent neurobehavioral disorder, with genetic, environmental, and biologic etiologies, that persists into adolescence and adulthood in a sizable majority of afflicted children of both sexes. It is characterized by behavioral symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity across the life cycle and is associated with considerable morbidity and disability. Comorbidity is a distinct clinical feature of both childhood and adult ADHD. Although its etiology remains unclear, emerging evidence documents its strong neurobiologic and genetic underpinnings. Despite the high diagnostic reliability and the robust evidence of the validity of ADHD, there are many underlying issues that remain to be resolved. These include establishing developmentally appropriate diagnostic criteria at older ages, further elaborating the impact of gender on symptom expression, and examining risk and protective factors in relationship to prevention or amelioration of ADHD as well as related functional impairments.

                Author and article information

                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Services Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                8 November 2016
                8 November 2016
                : 16
                [1 ]Manygates Clinic, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Wakefield, Portobello Road, WF1 5PN UK
                [2 ]Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise, The Dock Hub, Wilbury Villas, Hove, BN3 6AH UK
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
                [4 ]University of Huddersfield, School of Human Health Sciences, Queensgate, HD13DH UK
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Health & Social care

                adhd, health services planning, outcome monitoring


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