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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting 1.2 to 7.3% of adults globally. Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the primary symptoms of the disease, and they have been linked to consequences in multiple areas of daily life. This study, published in the Journal of Neural Transmission, examines the work-related issues faced by adults with ADHD.

A community sample of 1,231 people took part in the study and completed questionnaires evaluating ADHD symptoms and work-related issues. The group had an approximately even split of men and women, who were between 18 to 65 years old. Financial reward was given to the participants. No one in the community sample reported being diagnosed with ADHD. 

Additionally, a sample of 134 people with ADHD was recruited for the study and completed the same set of questionnaires. Within this group, 51 participants also completed a neuropsychological assessment of attention and executive functions. 

Ultimately the study found that participants with symptoms of ADHD and participants diagnosed with ADHD experienced significantly more work-related issues than the other participants. They particularly struggled with getting their work done efficiently and working to their potential. Additional areas of difficulty included attendance issues and poor performance evaluations. Getting fired from work was the only area where they did not struggle significantly more than the other participants.

The study also discovered that more than 80% of the community sample had no or one work-related issue. In contrast, more than 80% of participants with ADHD had at least one work-related issue, with an additional 69% having multiple work-related issues. Moreover, compared to the community sample, participants diagnosed with ADHD were significantly less likely to be employed and more likely to have issues with social interactions with coworkers and supervisors. 

The researchers concluded that people with ADHD symptoms and those diagnosed with ADHD seem to face multiple work-related issues. As such, they assert that work-related concerns should be considered during the clinical assessment and monitoring of adult ADHD [1].

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[1] Fuermaier, A. B. M., Tucha, L., Butzbach, M., Weisbrod, M., Aschenbrenner, S., & Tucha, O. (2021). ADHD at the workplace: ADHD symptoms, diagnostic status, and work-related functioning. Journal of Neural Transmission. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-021-02309-z