Guideline use among different healthcare professionals in diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Dutch children; who cares?

Birgit Levelink*, Lonneke Walraven, Edward Dompeling, Frans J M Feron, Dorothea M C B van Zeben-van der Aa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Current data about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Deficiency (ADHD) guideline use in the Netherlands are absent. This study analysed ADHD guideline use among different healthcare workers, and the use of key elements from these guidelines to diagnose ADHD.

METHOD: A survey assessing ADHD guideline use was distributed throughout the Netherlands to various health care professionals. Only professionals involved during the diagnostic process were included.

RESULTS: Response rate among GPs was low (111/1450), but high among other health care professionals (251/287). A total of 362 surveys were analysed, 186 responders (51%) were involved during the diagnostic process. Overall guideline use was 64.5%; the national multidisciplinary guideline or a guideline made by a professional's own institution were most used. Psychiatrists, psychologists and paediatricians reported compliance with key elements of the guidelines such as gathering information from a third party (> 90%) and carrying out a developmental history (> 88%). Use of a standardized interview (< 52% often use) was low. Only paediatricians performed a physical examination regularly (88%).

CONCLUSION: Despite low general use of guidelines, psychiatrists, psychologists and paediatricians use similar key elements of ADHD guidelines. This study provides opportunities to improve care through increasing familiarity with ADHD guidelines and the use of standardized interviews.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/diagnosis
  • Child
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult
  • ADHD
  • Guidelines
  • Diagnosis
  • Children

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