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Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Rating Scale (VADRS)

The VADRS was designed to assess ADHD in children ages 6 to 12. It can be administered alongside measures of cognitive function in Creyos Health, allowing practitioners to efficiently measure ADHD, cognition, and comorbid disorders in one integrated protocol.

How to Take the VADRS Questionnaire

The scale includes 55 items covering the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD, criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), criteria for conduct disorder (CD), and criteria from the Pediatric Behavior Scale for anxiety and depression. Additional items cover performance in school and relationships with others.

It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Parents rate the severity of each behaviour over the past 6 months on a 4-point scale from “never” to “very often,” then scores are tallied to provide guidance on whether or not the criteria for inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined types of ADHD have been met. Issues with oppositional-defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and anxiety/depression are also highlighted if cutoff scores are reached (see the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality for scoring details).


History of the VADRS Questionnaire

The VADRS is a relatively new instrument, created in 2003 by Mark L. Wolraich, MD, and colleagues. They noted that other behaviour rating scales, like Conners and the Child Behavior Checklist, deviated from the DSM-IV’s diagnostic criteria for ADHD in key ways. As a response, the authors developed the VADRS as a simple instrument for teachers and parents to identify core symptoms of ADHD aligned with standard diagnostic criteria.

The version of the VADRS included in Creyos Health is designed for parents, and is also known as the Vanderbilt ADHD Parent Rating Scale (VADPRS).

VADRS Report

The Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Rating Scale (VADRS) in the real world

According to the CDC, almost 1 in 10 children will be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and ADHD is associated with many of the mental, cognitive, and behavioural disorders that can affect quality of life children and their families. Healthcare providers who work with children often encounter ADHD, whether it is the main focus of treatment or not, so there is a strong need for a simple way to measure symptoms associated with attentional problems.

Speak to us about using the VADRS in your practice or study