Background: Adolescents diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face significant disease burden. This cross-sectional survey evaluated ADHD burden from the perspective of adolescents diagnosed with ADHD.
Methods: A 15- to 20-minute online survey was administered to adolescents (aged 12–17 years) diagnosed with ADHD and currently receiving stimulant medication. Survey questions assessed burden on daily activities and relationships. Data were assessed in all respondents by treatment (short-acting [SA] monotherapy, long-acting [LA] monotherapy, augmentation) and by age (12–14 years, 15–17 years). Analyses included 2-sample t tests (continuous measures) and chi-square tests (categorical measures).
Results: 174 respondents (treatment [SA, n=55; LA, n=69; augmentation, n=50]; age [12–14 years, n=100; 15–17 years, n=74]) completed the survey. High ADHD burden was reported by 50.6% of respondents. A significantly greater percentage of respondents reported high ADHD burden during the school week versus during school year weekends (57.6% vs 25.3%, P<0.05). Over the course of the day, the greatest percentage of respondents reported high ADHD burden during the later part of the school day (50.6%), which corresponded to when 32.0% of respondents reported that their medication started to wear off. Regarding relationships, the greatest percentage of respondents reported high ADHD burden on relationships with teachers (43.1%) and siblings (40.2%).
Conclusions: Adolescents with ADHD reported high ADHD burden despite being treated with stimulant medication. These findings support the importance of improving ADHD treatment strategies, especially later during the day and into the evening when medications may no longer effectively manage ADHD symptoms.