Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project



Background. Attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity [DSM-IV-TR] (American Psychiatric Association (APA), 2000). ADHD is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder in the United States; however, there is an increased report of adults with ADHD that has not been well addressed until today. There is a need for a rapid, reliable, standard assessment tool to diagnose adult ADHD [ Alder et al., (2009) cited in French et al., (2019)]. Using the Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) in outpatient settings can be a practical tool in identifying adult ADHD and offering appropriate treatment.

Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to increase the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of mental health professionals regarding Adult ADHD and the use of the World Health Organization Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) for screening Adult ADHD.

Methods: Using a Pre-test Posttest design, the sample included 10 mental health professionals (1 psychiatrist, 4 nurse practitioners, and 5 licensed social workers) from an outpatient setting who participated in an educational intervention on adult ADHD and screening using a PowerPoint presentation and discussion.

Results: Based on paired t-tests, the results indicated a statistically significant change (p < .05) from pre to post-test scores on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of mental health professionals in the diagnosis of adult ADHD and screening. Based on the results, mental health professionals (90%) following the educational intervention expressed that they were very likely to use the World Health Organization Adult Self Report Screening (WHO ASRS) tool as an instrument to improve the diagnosis of adult ADHD.

Implications: Although this educational invention was effective, a replication of this study in diverse community mental health clinics is indicated to confirm the findings. Advance Practice Nurses are in the position to develop and implement quality improvement projects which advance the quality of care offered by mental health professionals, and insure accurate diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions, such as adult ADHD.