Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale

Issue the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale to patients who suspect themselves of having ADHD to help them decide their next treatment and assessment steps.

By Matt Olivares on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a type of developmental disorder. Those with it tend to have difficulty focusing on something for too long, which happens frequently. They can also become hyperactive and impulsive. It's possible for this developmental disorder to negatively impact a person's daily life and overall mental well-being because of the following:

  • They have frequent mood swings.
  • They become easily frustrated, and their tempers run hot.
  • They become restless and jump from one activity to another.
  • They have trouble completing a task or activity, especially boring or repetitive work.
  • They have difficulty concentrating.
  • They have a hard time prioritizing something.
  • They tend to be disorganized.
  • They aren't able to plan as well as they'd like (or others would like).
  • They get easily stressed and have trouble coping.
  • They tend to interrupt others.
  • They tend to talk excessively.
  • They need to be on the move.
  • They have difficulty waiting.

These days, some people are diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder during their childhood, so once they hit the adult phase of their life, it's common for them to manage ADHD symptoms and live normally without the disorder disrupting their lives.

However, many people only get a formal diagnosis when they are adults. That's because they were likely unaware of their symptoms, or rather, the symptoms weren't noticeable back then but only began to be noticeable when they were older (like the degree of hyperactivity, impulsivity, etc., being higher than when they were younger).

If you're a licensed mental health provider handling a patient who suspects themselves of having ADHD or is suspected by someone close to them, then issue the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) to assess them.

Download this Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale and distribute it to clients experiencing symptoms to help diagnose ADHD or other related conditions.

Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Template

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Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Example

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How to use the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale

The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale is an eighteen-item, self-reported ADHD diagnostic assessment and screening instrument. This ADHD test is divided into two parts: Part A has six items, while Part B has twelve. The former is considered to be the most important because it is the most predictive of an ADHD diagnosis.

Part A has the following questions:

  1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project once the challenging parts have been done?
  2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?
  3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?
  4. When you have a task requiring much thought, how often do you avoid or delay getting started?
  5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when sitting down for a long time?
  6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?

Part B has questions like:

  • How often do you make careless mistakes when working on a boring or difficult project?
  • How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?
  • How often do you feel restless or fidgety? 
  • How often do you interrupt others when they are busy? 

All these questions can be answered with the following options:

  • Never
  • Rarely
  • Sometimes
  • Often
  • Very often

These choices can be selected using checkboxes. Some checkboxes have a darker shade than others. The darker shade represents the possibility that the adult patient answering the questionnaire has ADHD, so if they check four or more shaded boxes in Part A, that indicates that they are likely to have ADHD.

However, this scale doesn't confirm things and should not be the sole assessment for diagnosing ADHD. After receiving a fully accomplished scale, have them expand on their answers, conduct other ADHD screening tests, and then cross-check all the symptoms based on the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in the most updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. These can help characterize the patient's symptoms and make accurate ADHD diagnoses.

Since this is a self-report scale, it should not be the sole basis for an ADHD diagnosis. Healthcare professionals can administer more tests for a more comprehensive psychological assessment to determine the patient's treatment plan and psychological medicine needs.

When is it best to use the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale?

The best time to use the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale will depend on the person using it. If your patients or clients discuss things about themselves that indicate Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, then educate them about the disorder and ask if they would like to be assessed. If they agree to be assessed, you may introduce the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale.

You can have them answer the questionnaire on the spot, take the test home, and submit it during the next appointment. It's best to ask them first because the patient has the right to decide if they want to undergo an ADHD clinical diagnosis process.

If you're not a healthcare professional and you've stumbled upon this guide, you can use the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale for yourself. You can answer it anytime you want. If you have four or more answers in the darker checkboxes in Part A, and if you have several others in Part B, please schedule a check-up with a professional so they can conduct a comprehensive examination that will determine appropriate treatment steps.

How long does it take to accomplish the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale?
How long does it take to accomplish the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale?

Commonly asked questions

How long does it take to accomplish the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale?

It shouldn’t take longer than five minutes, but it’s totally fine if your patient takes longer than that. Just make sure to come to an agreement as to when you should receive a fully-accomplished copy from them.

How do you score this?

There’s no scoring for this scale. What you need to look out for is if they pick answers that are in boxes with a darker shade. If they have four or more in Part A, and they also have a bunch under Part B, you will need to conduct a further examination of your patient.

I’m not a healthcare professional, but I want to assess myself. Am I allowed to use this?

You’re definitely allowed to use this. It’s a self-report scale, after all. However, please do not self-diagnose yourself with ADHD. If you have four or more answers in the shaded boxes of Part A, please go see a professional for help so they can better assess your symptoms of ADHD.

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