Workers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do 22 days less work per year than people who do not have the disorder, finds new research.
People who have ADHD find it difficult to concentrate because they may be hyperactive, easily distracted, forgetful or impulsive. Children with the disorder are being increasingly diagnosed because they are likely to be tested for ADHD if they have problems with their schoolwork.
More than 7,000 employed and self-employed workers aged 18-44 years were screened for ADHD as part of the World Health Organisation World Mental Health Survey Initiative. They were also asked about their performance at work in the last month. On average 3.5 percent of workers had ADHD.
People with ADHD were found to spend 22 more days not doing work than other workers per year. This was made up of 8.4 days when they were unable to work or carry out their normal activities and 13.6 days of reduced work quality.
So much work is being lost that the researchers recommend employers consider screening staff for ADHD and providing treatment for those affected, because it would be more cost-effective for their businesses.
The people studied came from Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain and the US.