Measurement of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) gives a more complete picture of day-to-day functioning and treatment effects than behavioural rating alone. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the impact of the combined diagnoses of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and ADHD on HRQOL, and the effectiveness of methylphenidate (MPH) on HRQOL. HRQOL was established using the Dutch-Child-AZL-TNO-Quality-of-Life (DUX-25) and the TNO-AZL-Child-Quality-of-Life (TACQOL) questionnaires, completed by children and parents. HRQOL of these children was compared with that of 23 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Twenty-three children (21 males, two females; mean age 8 y 6 mo, [SD 3 mo]range 7 y-10 y 8 mo) with ADHD/DCD entered a 4-week, open-label MPH study, after MPH-sensitivity was established, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. In these children's self- and proxy reports, impact of both DCD and ADHD was reflected in lower general well-being (self and proxy report p=0.001) due to lower functioning in motor (selfp=0.026; proxy 0.001), autonomic (self p<0.001; proxy p=0.047), cognitive (self p=0.001; proxy p=0.01), and social (self and proxy p<0.001) domains. HRQOL scores improved in 18 children receiving MPH (p=0.001) versus controls. The ADHD /DCD group also demonstrated a significant improvement in ADHD symptoms (p<0.001) and motor functioning (p<0.001). Additional motor therapy will still be needed in about half of the children with ADHD/DCD receiving MPH, within multimodal treatment including educational and psychosocial assistance.
Department of Paediatrics, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. email@example.com