Tests for adults
Questionnaires are available not only for children, but also for adults. However, the questions are adapted and extended to the age, since the disease also changes with age. Tests such as the Conners Scales, for example, are available in different versions for young and old patients.
However, in adults, the recording of accompanying psychological problems and typical compensation mechanisms is just as important as the determination of the actual ADHD symptoms, as otherwise the disease would be overlooked by many patients. It is not uncommon for these patients not to show the typical signs of the disease at all, as they compensate or overplay them. In addition, there are a number of other diseases that trigger the symptoms and could be confused with ADHD.
The tests for adults are therefore often more complex than those for children. Especially for older patients, for example, the WURS (Wender Utah Rating Scale) was designed, which is intended to record ADHD symptoms in childhood in addition to the typical problems in adulthood. Unfortunately, such questionnaires are less effective in adults than in children and are therefore only meaningful together with a detailed anamnesis.
In addition to the tests, a comprehensive consultation with the doctor, including a review of the medical history, is therefore necessary in order to recognise the ADHD symptoms as such. In addition to the written tests, there are also computer-assisted methods for adults to measure attention, in which the patient is confronted with stimuli and must not be distracted by disturbing factors. There is also the TAP (test battery for attention testing) for each age group.
Often the adult patient can also assess his condition and the effect of the therapy well himself. In order to exclude other causes for the symptoms, tests of intelligence, behaviour and physical and mental health should be carried out in addition to the ADHD tests. In this way, accompanying psychological problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorders are also recorded. In adults, the determination of attention deficit disorder is therefore much more complex than in children.
Procedure of a test
How an ADHD test is carried out depends on the patient and of course the setting of the respective test. Questionnaires are filled out at home or at school or at the doctor’s office. For computer-assisted procedures, the patient is invited to an institute that offers these tests.
Before each test, the procedure is explained to the patient in detail to avoid the results being influenced by comprehension problems. In some procedures the processing of the tasks is simple, for example, the correct statement should be ticked for each question. Other tests require responsiveness or set practical tasks.
Each test therefore proceeds differently and must be explained to the patient in a comprehensible way. If the patient is tested for diagnostic purposes, the tests are preceded by a detailed patient interview and other examinations. If the tests serve to monitor therapy, the patient is tested at a certain time after taking the medication.