Clinical Tools Quick Links
Rating Scales and Checklists
Scales and checklists help clinicians to obtain information from parents, teachers, and others about symptoms and functioning in various settings, which is necessary for an appropriate assessment for ADHD and treatment monitoring. Symptoms must be present in more than one setting (for example, both at home and in school) to meet DSM-IV criteria for the condition. Such instruments are only one component of a comprehensive evaluation, which includes a medical examination and interviews.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the most commonly used scales are:
- Parent-completed Child Behavior Checklist
- Teacher Report Form (TRF) of the Child Behavior Checklist
- Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales
- ADD-H: Comprehensive Teacher Rating Scale (ACTeRS)
- Barkley Home Situations Questionnaire (HSQ)
- Barkley School Situations Questionnaire (SSQ)
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, ADHD-specific rating scales are more accurate in distinguishing between children with and without the diagnosis of ADHD, than global, nonspecific questionnaires and rating scales that assess a variety of behavioral conditions.
For adults, these scales may be helpful:
- The 18-question Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1) can provide a quick score and suggest whether further testing by a professional may or may not be indicated.
- The 6-question screener, the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS v1.1) Screener, is a subset of the 18-question scale, designed to screen for adult ADHD in community samples.
- An updated version of the 6-question screener which is validated for DSM-5, the Adult ADHD Self-Report Screening Scale for DSM-5 (ASRS-5), is also available.
Evaluation and Assessment Tools
Clinicians evaluating a child for ADHD use a variety of assessment tools to gather information. They will ask parents and educators to complete various forms, including checklists, behavior questionnaires, or rating scales. These tools are an essential component of a comprehensive evaluation for ADHD.
If the child is found to have ADHD, after a treatment plan is developed and implemented, the clinician will employ similar tools to request feedback from parents and teachers.
The articles listed under “Learn More” provide more information about these assessment forms and rating scales. You can also view some of the screening and follow-up tools.
Evaluating Your Child
NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scales