adult ADHD symptom screener
National Public Radio recently posted my interview (click on “Heard on Morning Editon”) from April 2017 about a research publication reviewing a revised adult ADHD screener developed in coordination with the World Health Organization. What the journalist didn’t know at the time that I will share with you is that I was a pre-publication peer reviewer on this study. That means I was very knowledgeable about the details of the study and had offered my critique to the publisher prior to publication. For additional background on this screener, see my previous blog.
Now, let’s address the audio quotes.
Dr. Lawrence Diller says “I don’t know what ADHD is anymore” referring to changes over the past 3 decades of changes in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual used to establish diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders. I’m surprised by his comment given 20+ years of international research (tens of thousands of scientific publications from around the world) that has better defined the symptoms and impairments of ADHD. It is this research that has contributed to better defining ADHD in children and the progression of ADHD into adulthood therefore accounting for the evolution of changes in the current DSM 5. The diagnosis of ADHD is not based on a cluster of symptoms at one point in time. The diagnosis is based on the cluster of symptoms as they impair the person over the course of their life. Everyone has some inattention and distractibility at some point but few have the symptoms since childhood that have never gone away and are observed by others as a problem.
How about Alan Schwarz’s comments who disqualifies published peer reviewed science by indicting the experts and researchers who have conducted research with and without pharmaceutical support. To indict the international ADHD research community would be to suggest an international conspicacy of hundreds, if not thousands, of physicians and psychologists across 7 continents. This is a basic journalistic method (shoot the messager) to distract readers from the merits of an issue. I have personal experience with Mr. Schwarz who took to indicting me in his New York Times article when he conveyed to readers that I was advocating teaching primary care physicians how to diagnosis ADHD based on a short video clip. What he deliberately chose not to include in his article was the fact that the video was a visual representation accompanying a 2500 word, 168 scientific references, and peer reviewed article. Focused only on his agenda to act as “educator” to save the “victims” of ADHD medications from the “villians” of doctors, he deliberately misrepresented information for his self-serving purposes.
So, I’ll leave you with my saying, “The credibility of information is dependent on intent of the provider”. A salesperson gives you only information he/she wants you to have to close the sale. An educator gives you information so that your interest is best served first. You need to carefully discern this for yourself.
I will continue to present science in the halls of opinions.
Thank you for your interest….and focused attention.
David W. Goodman, M.D., FAPA