For children or young people presenting in primary care with behavioural and/ or attention problems suggestive of ADHD, primary care practitioners should determine the severity of the problems, how they affect the child or young person, and the parents or carers, and the extent to which they pervade different domains and settings. If the problems are associated with severe impairment, referral should be made to secondary care for assessment.
Adults presenting with symptoms of ADHD in primary care or general adult psychiatric services, who do not have a childhood diagnosis, should be referred to a mental health specialist trained in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD for assessment.
- Meet the diagnostic criteria in DSM‑5 or ICD‑10 (hyperkinetic disorder) and
- Cause at least moderate psychological, social and/or educational or occupational impairment based on interview and/or direct observation in multiple settings and
- Be pervasive, occurring in 2 or more important settings including social, familial, educational and/or occupational settings.
5. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management. NICE Guideline 87. NICE, 2018. Available at: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng87 (Accessed May 2021)