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Promotie A.B.M. Fürmaier: Cognitive functioning in adult ADHD. Measurement, treatment and public perception

When:We 23-07-2014 15:00 - 16:00

The present thesis examined cognitive functioning of adults with ADHD from different angles by applying different methodologies. Four parts can be distinguished, including (1) objective neuropsychological tests to study memory functions of adults with ADHD, (2) self-reports of patients with ADHD to study cognitive complaints and their relationship with objectively defined impairments, (3) Whole Body Vibration (WBV) to treat cognitive dysfunctions of adults with ADHD and (4) a survey approach to study public’s attitudes and beliefs about ADHD (stigmatization).Two studies were performed demonstrating impairments of adults with ADHD in several components of memory, including source discrimination and prospective memory. The high relevance of these memory components as well as implications for clinical practice was emphasized.

Moreover, cognitive complaints of adults with ADHD were assessed by collecting comprehensive self-reports as well as by the by the performance of objective neuropsychological tests. It was concluded that results obtained by both approaches are not interchangeable but may provide non-redundant information with distinct implications for clinical practice.Furthermore, subjective and objective measures of cognitive functions were applied to explore the effects of WBV (a training method which exposes the whole body of an individual to vibration) on cognition. The clinical significance of the findings of WBV treatment on cognition was discussed.

In the fourth part of the thesis, a questionnaire specifically measuring stigmatization towards adults with ADHD was developed. It was suggested that special education programs informing the general public about ADHD may have the potential to reduce stigmatization towards adults with ADHD.

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