INATTENTION. CLINICAL FEATURES, DIAGNOSIS
14 Jan 2020
What are the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) criteria for diagnosing ADHD?
Inattention is the inability to complete a task carefully,
pay attention, or think about, listen to,
or watch someone or something.
When it comes to ADHD, children must have had 6 of the symptoms listed below (5 for individuals older than 17 years):

1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities;

2. Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities;

3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly;

4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, sidetracked);

5. Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities;

6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework);

7. Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g., school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones);

8. Is often easily distracted;

9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

Diagnosis is based on the symptoms that have occurred over the past 6 months.


American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013

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