206406 Adult ADHD in Minority Populations: Policy and Practice Implications

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Roberta Waite, Ed D, RN, PMHCNS , College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurobiological condition characterized by behavioral and cognitive symptoms (i.e., hyperactivity, inattention, disorganization, and impulsivity) can affect adults cross-culturally and across the lifespan. It is one of the most commonly occurring disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Text Revision in the general adult population of the United States (US) with a point prevalence of 4.4%. Currently, most literature and research about ADHD focuses primarily on Caucasian males; therefore, practice and research addressing more diverse cross-cultural issues is limited. Understanding culture's impact on ADHD and its treatment is extremely important, especially in light of recent reports highlighting the realities of mental health disparities and unequal treatment.

To improve knowledge about cultural explanatory models (EM) among diverse groups, this study addressed the following question. What are the explanatory models for ADHD among adults from diverse cultural and ethnic populations in post secondary settings? A qualitative descriptive design was selected which used purposive sampling, in-depth interviewing, and directed qualitative content analysis. The final study sample included 27 students who met the inclusion criteria. A common explanatory model of ADHD was not shared among the participants; however, gender and age differences were apparent. Their explanatory models of ADHD were complex and fragmentary and the relationship between explanations and help-seeking was neither linear nor one-dimensional. The implications of these findings for further research as well as academic and health policy will be presented.

Learning Objectives:
1. The learner will be able to identify at least five factors that can adversely affect an ADHD personís health. 2. The learner will be able to describe at least 2 health policy implications that can aid in the improvement of detection of adult individuals who may have ADHD. 3. The learner will be able to discuss at least four differences in help-seeking behavior for ADHD among diverse cultural groups.

Keywords: Adult Health, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced nurse researcher who has published and conducted research on adult ADHD among diverse populations. I am also on the professional advisory board for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.