The costs and benefits of diagnosis of ADHD: commentary on Holden et al. John Davis
This research into what appears to be a very controversial research leaves this author wondering if the estimate of $14,576 in U.S. dollars for having a child diagnosed with ADHD is very accurate. Using an ADHD prevalence rate of 5 percent of the population this translates into a minimum annual Cost of Illness (COI) of $42.5 billion, with a more likely estimate being twice that amount. These costs are staggering and comparable in magnitude to other serious medical and mental health problems in both children and adults. It is noteworthy that ADHD is somewhat unique among chronic childhood conditions because its impact, and therefore COI, cuts across a broader range of sectors than other conditions. For example, learning disabilities affect primarily the educational domain, while conduct problems impact the juvenile justice domain, and health care and family domains. The functional difficulties for children with ADHD occur in all of these domains the COI would arguably be expected to be higher than many other conditions that do not. The fact that so many multiple sectors are involved also brings out the need for these sectors to cooperative in the research and management of ADHD. The amount of this COI estimate highlights the public health importance of ADHD for families, schools, and health care providers. This COI analysis not only justifies but argues for an expansion of research-based services for children diagnosed with ADHD. This author wonders if the initial COI of $14,576 is based on a regional study, and not a nationwide study as the costs of health care, the judicial system, and educational systems very across the United States, and also from country to country around the world. Also what is the cost of females diagnosed with ADHD as females require different types considerations in life than males? Males are a greater...
References: Russell, G., & Ford, T. (2014). The costs and benefits of diagnosis of ADHD: commentary on Holden et al.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Mental Health, 8(1), 1-5. doi:10.1186/1753-2000-8-7
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