Morehead State University

Poster Title

The Differential Contributions of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms to Misdiagnosis of AD/HD on the Brown ADD Scales

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

Attention rating scales are frequently used in the AD/HD diagnostic process. Differentiating between primary attention problems in AD/HD and secondary attentional features of psychiatric disorders has been largely ignored for these measures. This is important to address from a clinical perspective because initial work has shown that depressive symptoms in the absence of AD/HD are sufficient to yield scores in the highly probably AD/HD range on the Brown ADD Scales. The present study attempted to extend these findings using a quasi-experimental design with groups of college individuals with AD/HD (n=19), those with either subclinical or clinical depression without AD/HD (n=20), groups high (n=20) and low (n=20) in trait anxiety without significant depressive symptoms or AD/HD, and a control group (n=19). As expected, the depressive group scored significantly higher and in the AD/HD range on the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scales relative to a non-depressed control group without AD/HD. In addition, the mean Brown ADD Scale scores from the high anxiety group would be classified in the AD/HD range and were significantly higher than those associated with the low anxiety and the control groups. Interestingly, the Brown ADD Scale scores between the high anxiety and depressive groups did not differ, despite both groups scoring significantly lower than the AD/HD group. Although these findings are preliminary, the need for appropriate comparative clinical data is underscored for the Brown ADD Scales. In addition, evidence is beginning to accumulate to suggest a re-examination of the clinical cut scores on the Brown ADD Scales.

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The Differential Contributions of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms to Misdiagnosis of AD/HD on the Brown ADD Scales

Attention rating scales are frequently used in the AD/HD diagnostic process. Differentiating between primary attention problems in AD/HD and secondary attentional features of psychiatric disorders has been largely ignored for these measures. This is important to address from a clinical perspective because initial work has shown that depressive symptoms in the absence of AD/HD are sufficient to yield scores in the highly probably AD/HD range on the Brown ADD Scales. The present study attempted to extend these findings using a quasi-experimental design with groups of college individuals with AD/HD (n=19), those with either subclinical or clinical depression without AD/HD (n=20), groups high (n=20) and low (n=20) in trait anxiety without significant depressive symptoms or AD/HD, and a control group (n=19). As expected, the depressive group scored significantly higher and in the AD/HD range on the Brown Attention Deficit Disorder Scales relative to a non-depressed control group without AD/HD. In addition, the mean Brown ADD Scale scores from the high anxiety group would be classified in the AD/HD range and were significantly higher than those associated with the low anxiety and the control groups. Interestingly, the Brown ADD Scale scores between the high anxiety and depressive groups did not differ, despite both groups scoring significantly lower than the AD/HD group. Although these findings are preliminary, the need for appropriate comparative clinical data is underscored for the Brown ADD Scales. In addition, evidence is beginning to accumulate to suggest a re-examination of the clinical cut scores on the Brown ADD Scales.