Occupational Status Is Compromised in Adults With ADHD and Psychometrically Defined Executive Function Deficits
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Objective: Problems related to executive function (EF) are frequently reported in adults with ADHD. However, only a subgroup of patients show deficits on common neuropsychological tests designed to measure EF. We investigated whether this subgroup also had higher levels of functional impairments, including unemployment, than the ADHD group without such deficits. Method: We defined executive function deficit (EFD) from selected tests from the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) and assessed ADHD symptoms and psychiatric comorbidity with the use of questionnaires in 79 ADHD patients and 77 controls (IQ above 80 in both groups). Results: In the ADHD group, 24.3% had EFD. This subgroup showed significantly higher frequency of unemployment, more reading and writing problems, lower IQ scores, and more self-reported ADHD symptoms in childhood than the ADHD subgroup without EFD. Conclusion: These findings indicate that it may be possible to identify individuals at risk of functional impairments, and emphasizes the importance of effective treatment programs targeting EF.