When evaluating for ADHD, clinicians will use a variety of clinical practice tools to gather information, including standardized clinical rating and self-report checklists, behavior questionnaires and/or rating scales. These tools are an essential component of a comprehensive evaluation for ADHD and provide information needed to screen, diagnose and develop a treatment plan. During treatment, they can be used to track symptoms and monitor treatment progress.
These practice tools are typically completed for
Rating Scales and Checklists
Scales and checklists help clinicians obtain information from adults, parents, teachers, and others about symptoms and functioning in various settings. Symptoms must be present in more than one setting (such as both at home and in school or work) to meet DSM-5 criteria for an ADHD disorder. Remember, however, that these instruments are only one component of a comprehensive evaluation.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has noted that ADHD-specific rating scales are more accurate in distinguishing between children with and without the diagnosis of ADHD. These are preferable to global, nonspecific questionnaires and rating scales that assess a variety of behavioral conditions.
Child and Teen Rating Scales
The following rating scales are often used to screen, evaluate or monitor children and teenagers with ADHD. Due to the variability of a child’s behavior based on the setting, their relationship with the person completing the form, or the subjective nature of the responses, it is best to have several significant people in the child’s life (mother, father, grandparent, teacher, daycare provider, etc.) complete the forms for comparison. The responses and scores are not sufficient for a diagnosis of ADHD but are an important component of the comprehensive evaluation process.
Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/6-18)
Conners' Rating Scales
Vanderbilt ADHD Rating Scales
ADHD Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV)
Adult Rating Scales
The following scales have been developed to screen, evaluate and monitor adults with ADHD. Because rating scales are based on self-reported perceptions, and therefore subjective, it is recommended that significant person’s in the adult’s life also complete the forms. These can include the person’s spouse, a close relative, employer and/or colleague.
Adult ADHD Clinical Diagnostic Scale (ACDS) v1.2
Adult ASRS Symptom Checklist v1.1
Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) v1.1
Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Symptom Assessment Scale (BADDS) for Adults
ADHD Rating Scale IV (ADHD-RS-IV) With Adult Prompts
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