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Human Services


Andrew Carpenter


There is a lack of knowledge about how to provide services for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) among healthcare professionals, particularly for adults with precomorbid ADHD. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study was to explore the knowledge deficits of social workers and case managers regarding adults with precomorbid ADHD and their perception of obstacles in providing medication and counseling referrals. Participants' perceptions of obstacles was assessed through the framework of social problem-€solving theory. The sample included 10 participants: 6 case managers and 4 social workers. There were three codes that represented participants' perceptions of knowledge deficits regarding adults with precomorbid ADHD, training, precomorbidity, and comorbidity. The theme knowledge deficits emerged from participants' responses of needing more training about adults with precomorbid ADHD. There were also three codes that represented participants' perceptions of obstacles providing referrals which included medication and counseling, referrals, and challenges. The theme perceptions of obstacles emerged from participant responses regarding clients' resistance to services as a significant challenge. According to study results, knowledge deficits in participants were less likely to be detected when participants were asked questions about adults with ADHD and comorbidity. Participants found it easier to identify and provide referrals for adults with ADHD with cooccurring (comorbid) disorders. Social workers and case managers can use the results of this study to increase their knowledge about how to provide referrals for adults with ADHD as the only disorder.

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