The impact of ADHD on the health and well-being of ADHD children and their siblings

Peasgood, Tessa; Bhardwaj, Anupam; Biggs, Katie; Brazier, John; Coghill, David; Cooper, Cindy; Daley, David; Silva, Cyril; Harpin, Val; Hodgkins, Paul; Nadkarni, Amulya; Setyawan, Juliana; Sonuga-Barke, Edmund
November 2016
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry;Nov2016, Vol. 25 Issue 11, p1217
Academic Journal
Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with reduced health and well-being of patients and their families. The authors undertook a large UK survey-based observational study of the burden associated with childhood ADHD. The impact of ADHD on both the patient ( N = 476) and their siblings ( N = 337) on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and happiness was quantified using multiple standard measures [e.g. child health utility-9D (CHU-9D), EuroQol-5D-Youth]. In the analysis, careful statistical adjustments were made to ensure a like-for-like comparison of ADHD families with two different control groups. We controlled for carers' ADHD symptoms, their employment and relationship status and siblings' ADHD symptoms. ADHD was associated with a significant deficit in the patient's HRQoL (with a CHU-9D score of around 6 % lower). Children with ADHD also have less sleep and were less happy with their family and their lives overall. No consistent decrement to the HRQoL of the siblings was identified across the models, except that related to their own conduct problems. The siblings do, however, report lower happiness with life overall and with their family, even when controlling for the siblings own ADHD symptoms. We also find evidence of elevated bullying between siblings in families with a child with ADHD. Overall, the current results suggest that the reduction in quality of life caused by ADHD is experienced both by the child with ADHD and their siblings.


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