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Oct 2020

ADHD in Adults


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the third most prevalent mental health issue worldwide and 2.9% (approximately 703,000) of Canadians aged 20-64 reported being diagnosed with the condition

ADHD in adulthood can be associated with significant impairment in executive functioning. This tool aims to support family physicians and primary care nurse practitioners screen, diagnose and implement treatment for adult patients with ADHD.

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About the tool

Adults with ADHD may experience significant impairment in occupational, academic, social and emotional functioning. Treatment involves both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. Divided into six sections, this tool is designed to empower family physicians and primary care nurse practitioners to manage ADHD in adults (aged 18+) in a primary care setting. Sections include:

  • Screening and diagnosis
  • Initiating treatment
  • Pharmacological management
  • Non-pharmacological treatment options
  • Treatment for patients with comorbid conditions and differential diagnosis
  • Maintenance and monitoring

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults Tool was developed using the Centre for Effective Practice’s (CEP’s) integrated knowledge translation approach. This approach ensures that providers are engaged throughout the development processes through the application of user-centered design methodology. Clinical leadership of the resource was provided by Dr. Ainslie Gray. End users and clinical experts were also engaged to provide feedback.

The tool is one of several clinical tools developed as part of the Knowledge Translation in Primary Care Initiative. This multi-year initiative is a collaboration between the Centre for Effective PracticeOntario College of Family Physicians (OCFP), and Nurse Practitioners’ Association of Ontario (NPAO). Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, this initiative supports primary care providers with the development of a series of clinical tools and health information resources. Learn more about the Knowledge Translation in Primary Care Initiative (KTinPC).

Clinical leads

  • Ainslie Gray


    Dr. Ainslie Gray is a primary care physician with a defined focus in mental health and has extensive experience in observing the impact of accurate evidence-based support using a multi-disciplinary team of professionals. She is the co-founder and medical director of the Springboard Clinic in Toronto, which provides a range of resources for people with ADHD. Dr. Gray has also been involved in continuing medical education for physicians through partnerships with the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the College of Family Physicians of Canada but also for family members, schools and community organizations. 

    Dr. Gray provided clinical leadership for the development of the ADHD in adults topic and was offered compensation for her role.

Clinical Working Group 

In addition to the clinical lead, a clinical working group comprised of family physicians oversaw the development of this tool. Members include:

  • Joan Flood, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP
  • Mireille St-Jean, MD, CCFP(AM), FCFP
  • Christopher Bentley, MEd, MD, FRCPC
  • Leah Skory, MD, CCFP

Clinical Working Group members were offered an honorarium for their participation. Thank you to all our members for their work!

Conflict of interest

Focus group and usability participants received a small token of appreciation (e.g. gift certificate).

Expert Reviewers

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