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Papers: 21 Jan 2023 - 3 Feb 2023

2023 Jan 11

Children (Basel)



Associations between Chronic Pain and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Youth: A Scoping Review.


Battison EAJ, Brown PCM, Holley AL, Wilson AC
Children (Basel). 2023 Jan 11; 10(1).
PMID: 36670692.


Chronic pain and ADHD are common conditions among youth that negatively impact functioning. This review fills a critical gap by summarizing current research on chronic pain and ADHD comorbidity, and it proposes a conceptual model of shared associations and underlying mechanisms. The aims of the current study were to: (1) review the extant literature and present estimates of the prevalence of comorbid non-headache chronic pain and ADHD in youth and (2) describe potential shared mechanisms for ADHD and chronic non-headache pain in youth. We also outline future directions to inform future research and interventions directed to youth with comorbid pain and ADHD. A scoping review of the literature was performed in MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews using a wide range of search terms related to pain, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Eleven published studies were included in the review. These studies examined the prevalence of chronic pain among youth with ADHD, the prevalence of ADHD in chronic pain samples, and the association between chronic pain and ADHD among youth. Findings revealed results from studies indicating a higher prevalence of ADHD among youth with chronic pain and a higher prevalence of chronic pain in samples of youth with ADHD. Findings from this scoping review suggest an association between chronic pain and ADHD among youth. Little research was found to examine the etiology of this association. Future studies should examine underlying mechanisms of comorbid chronic pain and ADHD.