Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder: fact or artifact

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



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Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Attention Deficit Disorder with; Hyperactivity; Boston; Child; Comorbidity; Diagnosis, Differential; Female; Humans; Male; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales




OBJECTIVE: To clarify whether the symptoms of inattention and distractibility commonly seen in children and adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) represent true comorbidity with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a manifestation of obsessional anxiety.

METHOD: Phenotypic features and functional correlates of ADHD-like symptoms were examined in youths with and without OCD from a large sample of pediatric psychiatry patients consecutively referred since 1997.

RESULTS: The number, frequency, and types of core ADHD symptoms as well as ADHD-associated functional indices were identical in all youths with DSM-IV-diagnosed ADHD irrespective of the presence or absence of comorbid OCD.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that when ADHD-like symptoms are seen in youths with OCD, they reflect a true comorbid state of OCD plus ADHD and that the ADHD syndrome may be independent of OCD in comorbid youths.

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Citation: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2002 Jan;41(1):52-8. Link to article on publisher's site

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