maandag 25 mei 2009


Mental health care professionals, including psychologists and psychiatrists, frequently have little or no specialized training in treating Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), the most common lifelong mental health problem.

In a newly published survey, Diagnosis &Treatment of AD/HD in Europe: Differences, Problems and Progress, ADHD-Europe examines provision for the treatment and diagnosis of AD/HD in 19 European countries.

Despite some improvements, the survey found provision for AD/HD diagnosis and treatment in crisis. As demand for diagnostic assessment increases, European mental health professionals still receive little or no specialized training in the proper diagnosis and treatment of AD/HD, resulting in insufficient diagnostic services, long waiting times (children can wait for years), inadequate and inappropriate treatment availability for children and less for adults.

A spokeswoman for TDA/H Belgique, Wallonia, Belgium said:

Sometimes it is truly an uphill battle. Some health professionals still know very little about this disorder. Doctors, including psychiatrists and neurologists, look for psychological and/or educational causes.

AD/HD is not caused by poor parenting, changes in the pace of modern society or too much television; it is a neurodevelopmental disorder with core symptoms of inattention and impulsivity, with or without hyperactivity. The causes are complex, but around 80 % of the risk factor is genetic, with approximately 5-6 % of children and 3-5 % of adults being thought to meet the DSM-IV TR diagnostic criteria. In addition to impairments resulting from these symptoms, sufferers and their families may also be affected by social stigma. Treatment offers children a release from the misery and isolation brought about by their behavioural symptoms, as well as improvements in family life and educational achievement. Untreated AD/HD can lead to pervasive lifetime impairment, but the outlook can be much improved with proper treatment.

ADHD-Europe aisbl is a European non-profit umbrella organization which received full legal recognition in Belgium in April 2009. At present, ADHD-Europe represents 27 National and Regional organizations concerned with AD/HD from 19 countries who have worked together since 2005 for the improvement of the situation of those affected by AD/HD.

The survey will be available on May 21, 2009 from ADHD-Europe aisbl, Avenskouter 13, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


Rita Bollaert