Addressing Barriers to Care, Challenging Behaviors Improves Outcomes in ADHD Children

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 8 percent to 12 percent of school-aged children nationwide, though far more children show symptoms without meeting the full diagnostic criteria. While medical intervention is needed to help improve the care of children with ADHD, the level of care can make a difference as highlighted in the study, “Collaborative Care for Children With ADHD Symptoms: A Randomized Comparative Effectiveness Trial.” The study, which will be published in the April 2015 Pediatrics (published online March 23), took a look at 156 children being evaluated for ADHD between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. The study authors found when collaborative care was offered on an enhanced level, children with clinical presentations consistent with an ADHD diagnosis experienced significant improvement in scores for hyperactivity/impulsivity, opposition/refusal and social skills. This enhanced level of care includes motivational interviewing techniques to help parents engage with care for their child and seek care for their own behavioral health concerns. Enhanced care also includes a series of techniques effective in reducing coercive parenting skills and behavioral problems in children.

Editor’s Note: This issue of Pediatrics also includes a commentary, “The Frontiers of Research About Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,” which explores the treatment and intervention of ADHD, and further mention of the above study.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.


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