Introduction: Our aim was to assess differences in movement measures in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) vs. typically developing (TD) controls. Methods: We performed meta-analyses of published studies on motion measures contrasting ADHD with controls. We also conducted a case-control study with children/adolescents (n= 61 TD, n= 62 ADHD) and adults (n= 30 TD, n= 19 ADHD) using the McLean motion activity test, semi-structured diagnostic interviews and the behavior rating inventory of executive function and Conners (parent, teacher; self) rating scales. Results: Meta-analyses revealed medium-to-large effect sizes for actigraph (standardized mean difference [SMD]: 0.64, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.43, 0.85) and motion tracking systems (SDM: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.65, 1.20) measures in differentiating individuals with ADHD from controls. Effects sizes were similar in studies of children/adolescents ([SMD]: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.50, 1.01) and of adults ([SMD]: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.46, 1.00). In our sample, ADHD groups differed significantly in number of head movements (p = 0.02 in children; p= 0.002 in adults), displacement (p = 0.009/p<0.001), head area (p = 0.03/p<0.001), spatial complexity (p = 0.06/p = 0.02) and temporal scaling (p = 0.05/p = 0.04). Mean effect sizes were non-significantly larger (d = 0.83, 95% CI: 0.20, 1.45) in adults vs. children/adolescents with ADHD (d = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.82). In the concurrent go/no-go task, reaction time variability was significantly greater in ADHD (p<0.05 in both age groups) than controls. Conclusions: Locomotor hyperactivity remains core to the construct of ADHD even in adults. Our results suggest that objective locomotion measures may be particularly useful in evaluating adults with possible ADHD.
- McLean motion and attention test
ASJC Scopus subject areas