Risks associated with undiagnosed ADHD and/or autism: a mixed-method systematic review

French, B., Daley, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-3597-0408, Groom, M. and Cassidy, S., 2023. Risks associated with undiagnosed ADHD and/or autism: a mixed-method systematic review. Journal of Attention Disorders. ISSN 1087-0547

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Background: The two most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism (ASD)—(ASD/ADHD) strongly impact individuals’ functions. This is worsened when individuals are undiagnosed and risks such as increased imprisonments, depression or drug misuse are often observed. This systematic review synthesizes the risks associated with late/undiagnosed ASD/ADHD.

Methods: Four databases were searched (Medline, Scopus, PsychInfor, and Embase). Published studies exploring the impact of undiagnosed ASD/ADHD were included. Exclusion criteria included, lack of diagnosis status, studies not solely on ASD or ADHD, gray literature and studies not in English. The findings were summarize through a narrative synthesis.

Results: Seventeen studies were identified, 14 on ADHD and three on ASD. The narrative synthesis identified three main themes: (1) Health, (2) Offending behavior, and (3) Day-to-day impact. The risks highlighted a significant impact on mental wellbeing and social interactions, higher risks of substance abuse, accidents and offending behavior as well as lower levels of income and education.

Discussion: The findings suggest that undiagnosed ASD/ADHD is linked to many risks and negative outcomes affecting individuals, their families, and the wider society. The restricted number of studies on ASD are a limitation to the generalization of these findings Implications for research and practice are discussed, highlighting the importance of screening and acknowledging the possibility of ASD/ADHD in many settings such as psychiatric and forensic.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Attention Disorders
Creators: French, B., Daley, D., Groom, M. and Cassidy, S.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 21 June 2023
ISSN: 1087-0547
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 07 Aug 2023 15:09
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 15:09
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/49514

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