What did they find (at a recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics, surveying community-based ADHD diagnoses and treatments)?
- For around 30 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD, the evidence that DSM criteria were met was missing.
- ADHD rating scales were collected from parents and teachers for only 56 percent of youth with an ADHD diagnosis.
- Pediatricians prescribed ADHD medication to roughly 93 percent of youth diagnosed with ADHD. Documentation that behavioral treatment was recommended, however, was present in only 13 percent of the charts.
- Follow-up contact (visit, phone call, or email) within 30 days of prescribing medication was documented in fewer than 50 percent of charts. Thus, for over half of youth prescribed medication, there is no indication that any information on the child’s response to medication was obtained during the first month.
- With respect to monitoring treatment response over time, this rarely occurred. Only 11 percent of charts had any evidence of parent ratings to monitor treatment response and less than 8 percent had teacher ratings within the first year of treatment. In addition, the average time between initiating medication treatment and collecting parent or teacher ratings was quite long — 396 days for parents and 362 days for teachers.
Keep reading 5 Reasons Why Parents of Children With ADHD Need to Become Proactive and Well-Informed Advocates of Their Care over at The Huffington Post.
- How to Navigate Conventional and Complementary ADHD Treatments for Healthy Brain Development. (May 2015; registration open)