Experiences of children and young people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions

Veronica Bailie, Mark A. Linden*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
To explore the experiences of children and young people (CYP) with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic and lock down restrictions.

Methods
Semi-structured, online interviews were conducted with 17 children and young people from the UK, Northern Ireland, aged 10–14 years with ADHD. Over half the participants had a co-existing diagnosis, such as autism spectrum disorder. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim before being subjected to thematic analysis.

Results
Four themes were identified; the emotional impact of the pandemic, adjustments to daily living, impact of remote learning and the effect on relationships. Many CYP citied feelings of sadness, loneliness and anxiety, others found the reduction in social demands favourable.

Conclusions
As one of few studies to capture the experiences of children and young people with ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic, this research highlights the potential negative long-term impact on emotional welfare, schooling and relationships.

Implications for rehabilitation
- Health care professionals should be aware of the overall impact on health and well-being for children and young people with ADHD following the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions to ensure that the effect of these are  minimised and managed in the future.- Educators and clinicians should be cognisant of the long term consequences of poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic and should put in place pro-active strategies to support children and young people with ADHD.- Children and young people with ADHD may suffer greatly from reduced access to sports and leisure facilities. Policy makers should be conscious of the potential negative consequences of placing limitations on access to such facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Early online date09 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 09 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • COVID-19
  • children
  • qualitative
  • semi-structured interviews
  • young people

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