The Effects of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Other Psychiatric Comorbidities to Outcomes in Trauma Patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The American surgeon




Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder; mental health; psychiatric disorders; trauma outcome; trauma surgery


BACKGROUND: Psychiatric illnesses affect outcomes in trauma. Studies have examined the relationship between depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental disorders with trauma, yet few have examined attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder has been suggested to increase the risk of injury, but severity and outcomes of the injury are not frequently studied. The relationship of additional psychiatric disorders in patients with ADHD to traumatic injury was also examined in this study. METHODS: A 5-year retrospective analysis was performed using the trauma registry of an urban ACS verified level 1 trauma center. Patients with ADHD were separated into ADHD Only and ADHD+ (having additional psychiatric comorbidities) and compared to a matched population of non-ADHD patients and patients with non-ADHD psychiatric disorders to analyze their demographics and outcomes. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data as appropriate. RESULTS: Seventy-three patients with ADHD were identified, with over half having additional psychiatric comorbidities (58.9%). The majority of ADHD patients were White (54.8%) vs Black (61.6%) at admission. At admission non-ADHD patients had significantly fewer psychiatric comorbidities (11%) compared to ADHD patients (58.9%). ADHD with psychiatric comorbidities patients had significantly higher ISS and longer hospital LOS. However, GCS and ICU LOS were not different between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with ADHD were significantly more likely to have psychiatric comorbidities and experience worse outcomes compared to patients without ADHD.