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A phenomenological inquiry into the lived experience of adults diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) employed by the NHS

Kayte Jayne Rowe (Research and Development, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust , Norwich, UK)
Sarah Bailey (Oncology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital , Norwich, UK)
Bonnie Teague (Research and Development, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK and Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Sciences, University of East Anglia , Norwich, UK)
Kevin Mattless (Dementia and DCLL Team, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Caitlin Notley (Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia , Norwich, UK)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 4 February 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank all the participants who took part in this study for giving up their time so generously.

Citation

Rowe, K.J., Bailey, S., Teague, B., Mattless, K. and Notley, C. (2021), "A phenomenological inquiry into the lived experience of adults diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) employed by the NHS", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 159-170. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-11-2020-0075

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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