Pharmacopsychiatry 2010; 43(3): 92-98
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1242819
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Psychopathological Rating Scales as Efficacy Parameters in Adult ADHD Treatment Investigations – Benchmarking Instruments for International Multicentre Trials

M. Rösler1 , W. Retz1 , R.-D. Stieglitz2
  • 1University Hospital of the Saarland, Neurocenter, Homburg/Saar, Germany
  • 2Outpatient Psychiatric Department, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Further Information

Publication History

received 18.03.2009 revised 04.09.2009

accepted 06.10.2009

Publication Date:
02 February 2010 (eFirst)


Introduction: The selection of appropriate instruments in clinical studies is an essential point to detect the effects of pharmacological and/or psychotherapeutic treatments.

Methods: We performed a Medline search to identify the controlled pharmacological treatment studies and controlled and open psychotherapeutic investigations since 1999 in adult ADHD. The efficacy parameters were collected in order to compare their psychometric properties and psychopathological content.

Results: We identified 21 pharmacological and 6 psychotherapeutic treatment studies. The ADHD-Rating Scale-IV (ADHD-RS-IV), the Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale-Observer Version (CAARS-O), and the Wender Reimherr Adult Attention Disorder Rating Scale (WRAADDS) are the clinical expert rating scales, which were used most frequently. The Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale-Self -Report: Short Version (CAARS-S:S) and the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS) are self-report rating instruments which have found general acceptance.

Discussion: The instruments offer appropriate psychometric properties. The psychopathological item content of the ADHD-RS-IV and the CAARS-O is focused on inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. The WRAADDS comprises additionally emotional symptoms and disorganization.



Prof. Dr. M. Rösler
Prof. Dr. W. Retz

University Hospital of the Saarland


66421 Homburg/Saar


Phone: +49/6841/162 6350