Childhood and adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in fibromyalgia: associations with depression, anxiety and disease impact

Karas H., ÇETİNGÖK H. , Iliser R., Carpar E., Kaser M.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY IN CLINICAL PRACTICE, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13651501.2020.1764585


Objective: The first aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of childhood and current attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia. The second aim is to assess the role of depression and anxiety on the relationship between childhood and adult ADHD symptoms with disease impact in this population. Methods: Sixty-four patients with fibromyalgia were compared to matched 58 healthy controls. All participants completed the Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS), Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). Results: Patients with fibromyalgia had significantly higher mean scores of depression (BDI), anxiety (BAI), childhood ADHD symptoms (WURS) and adult ADHD symptoms (ASRS total, ASRS hyperactivity/impulsivity subscale and ASRS attention deficit subscale) than the control group. Fibromyalgia impact (FIQ) was significantly correlated with depression (BDI; r = 0.57, p < .001), anxiety (BAI; r = 0.56, p < .001) and childhood ADHD symptoms (WURS; r = 0.41, p < .001) in fibromyalgia group. There was no significant correlation between fibromyalgia impact (FIQ) and adult ADHD symptoms (ASRS total or sub-scale scores). Hierarchical multiple regression indicated that childhood ADHD symptoms (WURS), anxiety (BAI) and depression (BDI) predicted fibromyalgia impact. Both anxiety (BAI) and depression (BDI) mediated the relationship between childhood ADHD symptoms (WURS) and fibromyalgia impact (FIQ). Conclusion: Childhood ADHD symptoms may be a contributory factor to poorer functioning in the patients with fibromyalgia. The relationship was more pronounced in the presence of depression and anxiety symptoms. Evaluation of childhood and adult ADHD symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia is important for recognition and treatment of ADHD comorbidity and also for attenuating the severity of the disease.