What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and it can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behaviour, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
ADHD has three subtypes:
- Predominantly inattentive type
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type
- Combined inattention and hyperactive impulsive type.
Predominantly inattentive. The majority of symptoms (six or more) are in the inattention category and fewer than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present, although hyperactivity-impulsivity may still be present to some degree. Children with this subtype are less likely to act out or have difficulties getting along with other children. They may sit quietly, but they are not paying attention to what they are doing. Therefore, the child may be overlooked, and parents and teachers may not notice that he or she has ADHD.
Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive. Six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present. Most children have the combined type of ADHD.
Patients in Somerset Diagnosed with ADHD
Figures from NHS digital suggest that for the year 2019-20 there were 169 people identified in Somerset with ADHD.
The prevalence of the condition is 5.7 times greater amongst those with learning difficulties. Changes in data collection mean that detailed information from records within Somerset is no longer available; older figures from 2014 are described below as context despite their age.
The data below show the number of patients in Somerset at 2nd October 2014 who have received a diagnosis of ADHD, by the year in which they were diagnosed.
- Since 1995, there have been 843 diagnoses, of which 722 (86%) were made when the patient was a child (aged under 18)
- 269 patients are currently being treated by the Trust - as mental health referrals but not necessarily for ADHD
- 571 have no current 'open' mental health referrals and 3 patients have died
- Diagnoses for ADHD were relatively few in the 1990s, peaking for children in the 2005-08 period and for adults in more recent years
The following charts show the trends in year-by-year diagnoses and current status of the patient in terms of mental health referrals with the Somerset Partnership. There is a chart for each of the following:-
- those diagnosed as a child (aged 0-17)
- those who were diagnosed as an adult (aged 18+).
- the total diagnosed.
To understand the data, take the Child patients in 2004 as an example. There were 44 patients aged 0-17 who received a diagnosis of ADHD for the first time, of which seven are currently being treated by the Trust, 36 have no ongoing treatment with the Trust and one has died.
The following ICD 10 codes were used to determine if a patient had been diagnosed with ADHD:
- F90 - Hyperkinetic disorders
- F90.0 - Disturbance of activity and attention
- F90.1 - Hyperkinetic conduct disorder
- F90.8 - Other hyperkinetic disorders
- F90.9 - Hyperkinetic disorder, unspecified
For more information on ADHD, please see the ADHD Foundation Website