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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobehavioural condition presumed to be more prevalent among athletes.1 The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine created a writing group in 2022 with the goal of publishing a position statement describing the unique challenges of diagnosing and managing athletes with ADHD.2 The position statement guides sports and exercise medicine (SEM) clinicians in providing high-quality care to athletes with ADHD throughout their lifetime in various sport settings. This editorial addresses key diagnostic and treatment challenges in the care of athletes with ADHD.
Special considerations in diagnosing ADHD in athletes
Heterogeneous clinical presentations, symptom overlap with other mental health problems, frequent comorbidity and occasional feigning of symptoms make diagnosis of ADHD challenging. Stigma and resource variability pose further challenges in identifying ADHD in athletes. Rigorous physical activity is also an effective coping mechanism for symptoms of ADHD, and athletic participation provides improved structure, external discipline and positive validation.3 These positive effects of sports participation may conceal ADHD symptoms until after the age of 12, which is the Diagnostic and Statistical …
Contributors All authors contributed to all aspects of this work, including conception, writing and critical revision.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.