Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Orr, R.,

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

It was the goal of the current study to provide a comprehensive assessment of the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and several factors which may relate to diagnostic accuracy in particular. Specifically, the study used four conditional probability indices---sensitivity, specificity, hit rate, and miss rate---to examine the relationship between diagnostic accuracy and the profession of the practitioner making the diagnosis, behaviour/symptom information, and gender information of a case. A mail survey method was used to present eight written case vignettes, which depicted four male and four female symptom presentations, to Ontario psychologists, pediatricians, and general practitioners for diagnosis. Symptom presentations included ADHD-Combined Type, ADHD-Predominately Hyperactive/Impulsive Type, ADHD-Predominately Inattentive Type, and a non-ADHD vignette. Data was also collected from professional groups regarding practitioner attributes and practice- and diagnosis-related variables. One hundred and twenty individuals returned completed surveys for a response rate of approximately 14%. Overall, results suggested that practitioners tended to diagnose ADHD when symptom information indicated that such a diagnosis was warranted; however they also tended to diagnose ADHD in the non-ADHD case, for which such a diagnosis was inappropriate. Misdiagnoses rates in terms of subtype ranged from 22% to 92% across presentations, with the most common misdiagnosis being ADHD-Combined Type. Results also indicated that diagnostic accuracy, as defined by various conditional probability indices, differed depending on the profession of the practitioner making the diagnosis, behaviour/symptom information, and gender information of the case. Results are discussed with respect to differences between professional groups as well as possible limitations of the current classification system. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-04, Section: B, page: 2081. Adviser: R. Orr. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2001.

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