Objective: The objective of this study is to retrospectively describe the pathway toward ADHD diagnosis and treatment, and identify potential areas for improvement. Method: Parent-reported questionnaires were collected by a national sample of ADHD specialists. Results: In total, 473 complete questionnaires were analyzed. Initial onset of ADHD symptoms was reported at a mean age of 4.45 years. Mean age at diagnosis was 8.07 years, and half of the families had seen at least three health care professionals previously. Psychiatrists were most commonly consulted. A “combined” (89% boys) and inattentive (49% boys) profile was identified. Diagnosis was made 1 year later for the latter group. Two thirds of patients received pharmacological treatment. The delay in diagnosis was identified as the main source of concern for caregivers. Conclusion: The 4-year delay in diagnosis may represent a loss of opportunity. Training health care professionals in the core symptoms of ADHD may help reduce disparities and improve patient trajectory.
- health care