Needs for occupational assistance among young adults with ADHD to deal with executive impairments and promote occupational participation – a qualitative study

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Purpose: To examine perceived aspects of importance among young adults with ADHD to participate and engage in occupational activities, and to explain how support from occupational specialists can assist them to deal with executive impairments.
Materials and Methods: Individual interviews with eight young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The interview guide was based on assumptions derived from the literature regarding executive functioning and issues related to participation in occupational activities, alongside the needs for social support. Interview transcripts were analysed using qualitative content analysis.
Results: Four categories emerged from the analysed interviews: (1) Being involved in an occupational environment fulfils a need for social contact, (2) Occupational activities must be clear and within interest (3) Self-confidence and daily routines are prerequisites for occupational participation (4) Having a lifeline providing continuous support is important Conclusions: Routines, interest and structure in everyday life are important to engage in occupational activities. There is a need for continuous support from a trusted person to establish and maintain healthy daily routines. Occupational specialists can be a vital resource, as they possess specific knowledge on the possibilities for occupation, and additionally, they can fulfil the young adults’ needs for continuous support. There is a need for studies questioning how some young adults with ADHD fulfil their work role despite executive impairments. Focusing on executive functioning can be a valuable supplement to the focus on specific diagnoses in research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

    Research areas

  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behaviour Disorders, Employment, Executive Functioning, Vocational Rehabilitation, Qualitative Research

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