Online Tests for ADHD: 3 Options
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects a person’s concentration, organizational skills, emotions and impulse control. ADHD in children is common but it affects adults too. Some people do not receive a diagnosis until later in life, meaning a person can miss out on treatments and coping strategies that might help. So, enter online tests for ADHD.
Online ADHD tests are becoming a popular tool for people seeking a diagnosis. Some questions you might have are: how do they work and are they really accurate? Let’s take a look.
What is an Online Test for ADHD?
ADHD is typically diagnosed during childhood but there is growing awareness of how the condition affects adults.
Since little has been known about ADHD until recently, many adults are only just realizing that it may be affecting their lives. This is especially true for women, as the symptoms of ADHD can present very differently in females compared to males.
Online tests for ADHD can help individuals find out whether the challenges they face in life may be due to ADHD. However, it is essential to get an official diagnosis before receiving treatment, especially when medication is involved.
There are several elements involved in diagnosing ADHD. They include:
- Questionnaires and rating scales.
- Consultations with a board-certified medical professional.
- Psychological and physical tests to rule out other conditions.
Therefore, online tests are usually considered a preliminary measure before seeing a healthcare provider for an assessment. They are becoming increasingly popular, and there are several different types.
Types of Online Test for ADHD
1. Online Testing Tools
Numerous websites offer quick online testing tools for ADHD. They usually involve multiple choice questionnaires that take around two to five minutes to answer. Some provide the results immediately while others require an email address.
Many of these tools are based on the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale developed by Harvard Medical School in association with the World Health Organization. It is a six-item scale designed to be used as part of an official diagnosis, not a diagnosis in itself.
However, it can help individuals decide whether it is worth seeking an assessment. Some websites offer more detailed questionnaires, with 10 to 20 questions about feelings, behaviors and how they impact everyday activities.
Some of the many websites offering these online tests for ADHD include:
- ADDitude (this website also has an online ADHD test specifically for females).
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
- Psychology Today.
- Exceptional Individuals.
2. Clinical Scales and Checklists
There are several symptom-rating scales and checklists that clinicians use when making an ADHD diagnosis.
For example, the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale is an 18-item scale rating the frequency of various feelings and behaviors over the past six months. It can help to to determine the likelihood that someone is being affected by ADHD. The Adult ADHD Self-Report Screening Scale for DSM-5 is a similar six-item scale.
These questionnaires are designed to be used by healthcare professionals as one part of the multifaceted ADHD diagnostic process. However, they may help individuals decide whether to pursue an official diagnosis. It may be helpful to complete one or more of these checklists and show it to a medical provider when seeking an assessment.
These tools and more are available to download on the official Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) website.
Telemedicine is a growing trend. It allows individuals to consult with a medical professional online and is often faster, more convenient and cheaper than an in-person assessment. Some companies also include treatment, including medication or counseling where appropriate.
Many different organizations offer this service. Klarity allows individuals to take a two-minute online test before booking a 30-minute appointment with a board-certified medical provider. They offer certified evaluation results and can prescribe medications if an ADHD diagnosis is given. Monthly follow-ups allow for ongoing monitoring and prescription refills.
Done provides a similar service. A one-minute free test can be completed before undergoing a full 30-minute assessment with a medical provider. Service users have access to video consultations, online communication, 24/7 support and automatic prescription refills.
ADHD Online is another telemedicine service. Individuals can fill in an online assessment that takes approximately 60 minutes but can be done in smaller chunks if necessary. The assessment can be completed any time and is sent to a doctorate level psychologist for review. The results and a personalized treatment plan are usually provided within a week.
These services usually cost between $150 to $200. Availability and coverage by insurance varies from state to state.
Pros and Cons of Online Tests for ADHD
Online tests for ADHD are not perfect and are often only suitable as part of a more complex diagnostic process. They do have some advantages over in-person medical consultations but there are several disadvantages too.
- Faster than waiting for referrals and diagnostic testing.
- Can be done without leaving home.
- More affordable than face-to-face consultations.
- Some online testing tools are free.
- Can be a good first step toward getting an ADHD diagnosis.
- Many tests are not accurate enough to confirm an official ADHD diagnosis.
- Most experts agree that multiple tests are necessary to diagnose ADHD.
- Symptoms may overlap with conditions, such as depression and anxiety, complicating a diagnosis.
- Misdiagnosis, which can prove to be harmful, especially if medication is prescribed inappropriately.
In summary, online tests for ADHD can be an excellent first step on the road toward a diagnosis. They allow individuals to find out whether they are likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis and decide whether to seek an official assessment. Telehealth goes a step further, providing a short consultation with a healthcare provider and sometimes prescribing treatment.
However, ADHD diagnosis is a lengthy and nuanced process and there is no substitute for proper medical care. Anyone who suspects they may be affected by ADHD should discuss the various assessment and treatment options with their physician.