Which psychometric and educational tests are useful in the diagnosis of pediatric attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Updated: Sep 09, 2021
  • Author: Maggie A Wilkes, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Psychometric and educational testing is often important for the diagnosis of ADHD (ADD). The patient's initial history may indicate a need for additional tests, as follows:

  • Examine children by using the Conners' Parent and Teacher Rating Scale and examine adolescents according to the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scale (BADDS) for Adolescents and Adults. [2]

  • Assess impulsivity and inattention using timed computer tests such as the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT), the Integrated Visual and Auditory (IVA) CPT, or both.

  • Assess girls using the Nadeau/Quinn/Littman ADHD Self-Rating Scale for Girls.

  • Assess the patient's executive function by using various neuropsychologic tests.

  • Perform a learning disability evaluation (intelligence quotient [IQ] vs achievement).

  • Several well-validated IQ tests are available. The Wechsler tests are the standards. Many believe that untimed tests are most appropriate for persons with ADHD (ADD). A large discrepancy between the patient's IQ and other measures, such as visual or auditory abilities or an ability to work with numbers, is not uncommon, particularly in older children and adolescents

  • Baseline ECG to access the QT interval may be indicated before a tricyclic antidepressant is prescribed.

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