Re: Diagnosing and treating adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 66, No. 4, May 2024, Pages 106,108 Letters

Dr Baerg Hall and Ms Cynthia Buckett provided an excellent and very detailed overview of the diagnosis and treatment of adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the November BCMJ [2023;65:334-339]. The article provides step-by-step guidance for family physicians to address what seems like an increasing demand. I have worked collaboratively with family physicians at student health services at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University. We often discuss the challenges faced with diagnostic accuracy, especially considering other clinical factors. There is also concern about overdiagnosis when there is no opportunity to access collateral information from childhood. Another concern is the time involved in completing a detailed assessment.

To address some of these issues, I put together a guide for anyone who might be considering getting assessed for ADHD and those who have a diagnosis and need information about both medication and nonmedication treatment. The guide includes step-by-step instructions and a checklist for patients to do much of the work gathering information to discuss with their physician. I hope this will save time in the assessment process and ensure physicians have more complete information to inform the diagnostic process.

The guide is available on the Pathways BC website under Mental Health—Adult > Information Handouts, Videos & Websites.

I have provided a detailed outline of an organizational approach based on widely available personal productivity tools. The tools are especially important for university students but may be relevant for anyone with a need to manage their busy lives. Artificial intelligence will be a game changer for people with ADHD, but having a basic understanding of personal productivity will very likely ensure successful application of this new technology.

I understand there may be other projects underway looking at ADHD assessment and treatment. I believe my guide would be a helpful adjunct to consider including. Please also send any suggestions or corrections to me at

I would like to thank Dr Tracy Monk and staff at Pathways BC for their assistance with my project. Pathways BC continues to expand and provides an exceptional resource for physicians and patients.
—Michael Cooper, MD, FRCPC

This letter was submitted in response to “Diagnosing and treating adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.”


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Michael Cooper, MD, FRCPC. Re: Diagnosing and treating adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. BCMJ, Vol. 66, No. 4, May, 2024, Page(s) 106,108 - Letters.

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