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Studies reinforce the critical importance of ADHD treatment monitoring

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As the new school year approaches, let me highlight the essential value of ADHD treatment monitoring. Even when a child’s treatment has been going well, response to treatment can change over time. This is true for medication treatment, or any other treatment a child is receiving. By regularly monitoring how a child is doing at school, parents and professionals are alerted Read the rest of this entry »

5 Must-Read Articles, and an Online Course, to Help Children with ADHD

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— Dr. David Rabiner, Research Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke Uni­ver­sity and founder of the Atten­tion Research Update.

Given the ongoing changes and controversies surrounding ADHD diagnosis and treatment, let us highlight 5 key articles written by Duke University’s Dr. David Rabiner to summarize recent scientific findings and their implications, plus a very relevant online course to help parents and professionals help children with ADHD.

1. Study finds large gaps between research and practice in ADHD diagnosis and treatment

  • Key insight: Evidence-based guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on the evaluation and treatment of ADHD are frequently not followed. Many children are diagnosed with ADHD in the absence of clearly meeting DSM diagnostic criteria, and behavioral treatment is rarely recommended.
  • Key data point: Pediatricians prescribed ADHD medication to roughly 93% of youth diagnosed with ADHD. Documentation that behavioral treatment was recommended, however, was present in only 13% of the charts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Rates of ADHD diagnosis and medication treatment continue to increase substantially

Beginning in about 1990, substantial increases in the rates of ADHD diagnosis and medical treatment were found in several nationally representative samples of US physician office visits. For example, between 1995-96 and 2007-08, the number of office visits at which an ADHD diagnosis was made increased by over 400% in adults – from 3.1 per 1000 visits to 14.5 per 1000 visits. And, the percent of adult office visits including both ADHD diagnosis and medication increased from 1.9 to 11.4 per 1000 visits.

Among children aged 5 to 18, between 1991-92 and 2008-09, rates of ADHD diagnosis increased nearly 4-fold among boys – from 39.5 to 144.6 per 1000 – and nearly 6-fold for girls – from 12.3 and 68.5 per 1000 visits. During this time, the rate of visits that also involved medication treatment increased by similar rates. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) + Medication outperforms CBT alone to treat ADHD symptoms among adults. At the same time…

adult_adhdAlthough medication is the primary treatment for adults with ADHD, and has good empirical support, many adults would rather not take it. For these adults with ADHD, it would be helpful to know whether medication is likely to provide significant benefits above and beyond those they would gain from well-conducted therapy, or whether they are likely to derive roughly equivalent benefits from therapy alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Discouraging new findings about pediatric care for children with ADHD: Often, best-practice guidelines are not followed

Most children with ADHD receive their care from community-based pediatricians. Given the large number of school-age children who require evaluation and treatment services for ADHD, and the adverse impact that poor quality care can have on children’s development, it is important for children to routinely receive care in the community that is consistent with best-practice guidelines. Read the rest of this entry »

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