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      Economic impact of childhood/adolescent ADHD in a European setting: the Netherlands as a reference case

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          Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a highly prevalent psychiatric disorder in children/adolescents. This study reviews available European-based studies of ADHD-related costs and applies the findings to the Netherlands to estimate annual national costs for children/adolescents from a societal perspective. A systematic literature search was conducted for primary studies in Europe, published January 1, 1990 through April 23, 2013. Per-person cost estimates were converted to 2012 Euros and used to estimate annual national ADHD-related costs based on the Dutch 2011 census, ADHD prevalence rates, family composition, and employment rates. Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. The average total ADHD-related costs ranged from €9,860 to €14,483 per patient and annual national costs were between €1,041 and €1,529 million (M). The largest cost category was education (€648 M), representing 62 and 42 % of the low- and high-value overall national estimates, respectively. By comparison, ADHD patient healthcare costs ranged between €84 M (8 %) and €377 M (25 %), and social services costs were €4.3 M (0.3–0.4 %). While the majority of the costs were incurred by ADHD patients themselves, €161 M (11–15 %) was healthcare costs to family members that were attributable to having an ADHD child/adolescent. In addition, productivity losses of family members were €143–€339 M (14–22 %). Despite uncertainties because of the small number of studies identified and the wide range in the national cost estimates, our results suggest that ADHD imposes a significant economic burden on multiple public sectors in Europe. The limited number of European-based studies examining the economic burden of ADHD highlights the need for more research in this area.

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          The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00787-013-0477-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 48

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          Validity of the executive function theory of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analytic review.

          One of the most prominent neuropsychologic theories of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggests that its symptoms arise from a primary deficit in executive functions (EF), defined as neurocognitive processes that maintain an appropriate problem-solving set to attain a later goal. To examine the validity of the EF theory, we conducted a meta-analysis of 83 studies that administered EF measures to groups with ADHD (total N = 3734) and without ADHD (N = 2969). Groups with ADHD exhibited significant impairment on all EF tasks. Effect sizes for all measures fell in the medium range (.46-.69), but the strongest and most consistent effects were obtained on measures of response inhibition, vigilance, working memory, and planning. Weaknesses in EF were significant in both clinic-referred and community samples and were not explained by group differences in intelligence, academic achievement, or symptoms of other disorders. ADHD is associated with significant weaknesses in several key EF domains. However, moderate effect sizes and lack of universality of EF deficits among individuals with ADHD suggest that EF weaknesses are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause all cases of ADHD. Difficulties with EF appear to be one important component of the complex neuropsychology of ADHD.
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            The prevalence of DSM-IV attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a meta-analytic review.

             Erik Willcutt (2012)
            This article describes a comprehensive meta-analysis that was conducted to estimate the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). A systematic literature review identified 86 studies of children and adolescents (N = 163,688 individuals) and 11 studies of adults (N = 14,112 individuals) that met inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis, more than half of which were published after the only previous meta-analysis of the prevalence of ADHD was completed. Although prevalence estimates reported by individual studies varied widely, pooled results suggest that the prevalence of DSM-IV ADHD is similar, whether ADHD is defined by parent ratings, teacher ratings, or a best estimate diagnostic procedure in children and adolescents (5.9-7.1 %), or by self-report measures in young adults (5.0 %). Analyses of diagnostic subtypes indicated that the predominantly inattentive type is the most common subtype in the population, but individuals with the combined type are more likely to be referred for clinical services. Additional research is needed to determine the etiology of the higher prevalence of ADHD in males than females and to clarify whether the prevalence of ADHD varies as a function of socioeconomic status or ethnicity. Finally, there were no significant prevalent differences between countries or regions of the world after controlling for differences in the diagnostic algorithms used to define ADHD. These results provide important support for the diagnostic validity of ADHD, and argue against the hypothesis that ADHD is a cultural construct that is restricted to the United States or any other specific culture.
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              The economic cost of brain disorders in Europe.

              In 2005, we presented for the first time overall estimates of annual costs for brain disorders (mental and neurologic disorders) in Europe. This new report presents updated, more accurate, and comprehensive 2010 estimates for 30 European countries. One-year prevalence and annual cost per person of 19 major groups of disorders are based on 'best estimates' derived from systematic literature reviews by panels of experts in epidemiology and health economics. Our cost estimation model was populated with national statistics from Eurostat to adjust to 2010 values, converting all local currencies to Euros (€), imputing cost for countries where no data were available, and aggregating country estimates to purchasing power parity-adjusted estimates of the total cost of brain disorders in Europe in 2010. Total European 2010 cost of brain disorders was €798 billion, of which direct health care cost 37%, direct non-medical cost 23%, and indirect cost 40%. Average cost per inhabitant was €5.550. The European average cost per person with a disorder of the brain ranged between €285 for headache and €30 000 for neuromuscular disorders. Total annual cost per disorder (in billion € 2010) was as follows: addiction 65.7; anxiety disorders 74.4; brain tumor 5.2; child/adolescent disorders 21.3; dementia 105.2; eating disorders 0.8; epilepsy 13.8; headache 43.5; mental retardation 43.3; mood disorders 113.4; multiple sclerosis 14.6; neuromuscular disorders 7.7; Parkinson's disease 13.9; personality disorders 27.3; psychotic disorders 93.9; sleep disorders 35.4; somatoform disorder 21.2; stroke 64.1; and traumatic brain injury 33.0. Our cost model revealed that brain disorders overall are much more costly than previously estimated constituting a major health economic challenge for Europe. Our estimate should be regarded as conservative because many disorders or cost items could not be included because of lack of data. © 2011 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2011 EFNS.

                Author and article information

                [ ]PharmacoEpidemiology & PharmacoEconomics, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 Groningen, The Netherlands
                [ ]Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Shire, 725 Chesterbrook Boulevard, Wayne, PA 19087 USA
                [ ]BPS International, 3830 Valley Centre #705 PMB503, San Diego, CA 92130 USA
                [ ]General Internal Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 1222 Blockley Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021 USA
                +1-484-5958256 , +1-484-5958178 ,
                Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
                Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
                European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                29 October 2013
                29 October 2013
                : 23
                : 587-598
                © The Author(s) 2013

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

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                © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014


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