OBJECTIVES: The goals of this study were (1) to provide estimates of diagnostic stability for a sample of young children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after undergoing comprehensive multidisciplinary assessments and (2) to identify baseline child and family characteristics that predict diagnostic stability over time.
METHODS: Children aged 3 to 6 years, 11 months consecutively diagnosed with ADHD after multidisciplinary consultations at a tertiary care clinic between 2003 and 2008 were recontacted in 2012 and 2013 (N = 120). At follow-up, the primary outcome was the proportion of children who continued to meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD. To identify predictors of diagnostic stability, logistic regression models were used. In addition, a latent class model was used to independently classify subjects into distinct clusters.
RESULTS: In this cohort, 70.4% of the children contacted at follow-up continued to meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Predictors of diagnostic stability included externalizing and internalizing symptoms at baseline, parental history of psychopathology, and family socioeconomic status. The latent class model independently identified 3 distinct profiles: (1) children who no longer met ADHD criteria; (2) children with persistent ADHD and high parental psychopathology; and (3) children with persistent ADHD and low family socioeconomic status.
CONCLUSIONS: Young children who underwent comprehensive developmental and psychological assessments before receiving an ADHD diagnosis, had higher rates of diagnostic stability than in previous studies of community samples. Child and family factors that predict diagnostic stability have the potential to guide treatment planning for children diagnosed with ADHD before 7 years of age.
- attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
- diagnostic stability
- income-to-needs ratio
- socioeconomic status
- Accepted January 22, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics