Thursday, January 1, 2015

Impairment and Development of Rating Scales for ADHD

For the past several years we have been updating the Conners Rating Scales in order to accomplish several goals:

  • Establish new norms based upon a large census-based sample in North America, using the latest statistical analytic methods
  • With the 3rd Revision of the ADHD Scale (C-3), add items to improve test-taking validity
  • Provide separate norms for DSM and empirically based factor ADHD items
  • Add a new scale to cover broader aspects of childhood psychopathology (Comprehensive Behavior Rating Scale  or CBRS)
  • Provide more useful detailed report features with automated scoring
Data from the large standardization project can reveal important information about the diagnosis of ADHD. For example, the significance of the Impairment data comparing the general population with diagnosed ADHD is the fact that they show an excess of diagnoses were made without reference to impairment. A substantial portion of responses to the question of degree of impairment among children with a diagnosis of ADHD in the sample is "Never," this despite the fact that approved DSM standards were supposedly used. 

Diagnosing from symptoms without evidence of impairment is simply shoddy practice!