A phenomenological inquiry into the lived experience of adults diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) employed by the NHS

Kayte J. Rowe (Lead Author), Sarah Bailey, Bonnie Teague, Kevin Mattless, Caitlin Notley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: Approximately 3.5% of the workforce is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). With a greater risk of work-related stress and absences, work-based social interactions and environments are significant factors. The purpose of this study was to identify the professional challenges and benefits of living with ADHD in healthcare settings. Design/methodology/approach: Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to explore how employees with ADHD both experience and make sense of their employment and professional relationships. Participants self-identified from two NHS trusts and participated in semi-structured interviews. Findings: A total of seven interviews contributed to the final analysis. A total of four themes emerged: social environment (relationships), physical environment, behaviour and work tasks. Complex interactions were observed between individuals’ internal constructs and overall employment experience. Practical implications: The findings can be used to inform local NHS management frameworks for supporting workforce with ADHD. Originality/value: This is a novel study that explores the psychodynamic and physical presentations of ADHD providing a unique perspective on the challenges and strengths of employees with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalMental Health and Social Inclusion
Issue number2
Early online date4 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021


  • ADHD
  • Adult
  • Employment
  • Lived experience
  • Management
  • Qualitative

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