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Natural outcome of ADHD with developmental coordination disorder at age 22 years: a controlled, longitudinal, community-based study.

Journal article
Authors Peder Rasmussen
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume 39
Issue 11
Pages 1424-1431
ISSN 0890-8567
Publication year 2000
Published at Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Pages 1424-1431
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Age Distribution, Age Factors, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity, Complications, Epidemiology, Psychology, Case-Control Studies, Child, Comorbidity, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mental Disorders, Epidemiology, Motor Skills Disorders, Complications, Epidemiology, Psychology, Neuropsychological Tests, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Prognosis, Sex Distribution, Social Problems, Sweden, Epidemiology
Subject categories Psychiatry


Objective: There is a need for controlled longitudinal studies in the field of attention disorders in the general population. Method: In a community-based follow-up study, 55 of 61 subjects aged 22 years, who had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with and without comorbid developmental coordination disorder (DCD) at initial workup at age 7 years, were compared, on a multitude of outcome variables, with 46 of 51 age-matched subjects without such diagnoses. None of the subjects had received stimulant treatment. Psychiatrists performing the follow-up study were blind to original diagnostic group status. Results: In the ADHD/DCD group 58% had a poor outcome compared with 13% in the comparison group (p 001). Remaining symptoms of ADHD, antisocial personality disorder, alcohol abuse, criminal offending, reading disorders, and low educational level were overrepresented in the ADHD/DCD groups. The combination of ADHD and DCD appeared to carry a particularly gloomy outlook. Conclusions: Childhood ADHD and DCD appears to be a most important predictor of poor psychosocial functioning in early adulthood. It would seem appropriate to screen for such disorders in schools and clinics so that therapies may be started early.

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