The Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scale (CAARS) is one of the tools used to assess, diagnose, and treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults.
Such assessments work by helping treatment providers obtain important clinical information about clients regarding their symptoms and functioning in different settings.
This enables treating professionals to provide an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. For example, for a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to be given, symptoms must be present in more than one setting.
This tool assesses and screens for all of the major symptom categories of ADD/ADHD such as Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsiveness. It includes forms to gather feedback not just from the patient but from multiple sources such as a spouse or other people close to the patient.
These self-reports and observer ratings are important because obtaining information from multiple sources can improve the accuracy and usefulness of the results.
This assessment comes in two different versions, long and short.
The long version contains 66 items and nine different scales that assess different areas of functioning such as intattention or memory challenges, hyperactivity or restlessness, impulsive behavior, emotional behavior, and measures of self-concept.
The short forms, on the other hand, measure each area of behavioral categories (hyperactivity, inattention, impulsiveness) but are generally abbreviated versions of the long versions.
The short version of the Conners ADHD rating scale takes less time, however this can be useful when your time is limited.
So which is best? I think both are useful, but I view the short form as a simple snapshot screening assessment. This can be useful, but second opinions are likely necessary and more informative.
As a result, I always recommend taking the longer version for a more comprehensive assessment. The longer version of the Connor's ADHD rating scale helps to make a more information regarding each individual's condition.
The duration time for the long or short form versions is generally only a few minutes. The long version contains only 66 items to answer which may take roughly 10 minutes to complete. The most important factor to guarantee an accurate assessment is for patients answer the assessment questions as honestly and simply as they can.
Taking time to fully comprehend the questions and answering honestly will ensure the accuracy of the results.