Study finds children with ADHD have questions for their doctor but don't ask them

April 20, 2017
Children with ADHD find it more difficult to focus and to complete their schoolwork. Credit: public domain image

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder want to ask their physicians about their condition and medications but often don't, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study could help doctors and parents leverage this interest to help children better manage their ADHD.

"We have found that there has been very little research into how providers, parents and youth communicate about ADHD and ADHD medications," said Betsy Sleath, the lead author of the study and the George H. Cocolas Distinguished Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. "What we do know is that kids often aren't part of the conversation when their parents and are talking ADHD. We wanted to know how the kids felt about that."

Sleath's team recruited 48 boys and 22 girls ranging in age from 7 to 17 years at two private pediatric practices in North Carolina who had been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medicine, and examined how with ADHD perceive communication with their pediatric care providers, whether they say they take their ADHD medications correctly and where they prefer to learn about their condition.

The children were also asked if they wished their doctor talked to them more about ADHD. They were asked what made it hard to talk to their doctor about ADHD and what would make it easier to talk to their doctor about ADHD.

One-third of the children said they wished their physician talked with them more about ADHD during visits. Study participants had at least eight unasked questions on average about ADHD and its treatment. Common questions included will I grow out of ADHD, how will my medicine affect me and what are the side effects of my ADHD medicine?

Most of the children said they wanted to learn about ADHD at their provider's office and wanted their providers to engage them more during visits, the researchers found.

"These results highlight the fact that children with ADHD want their physician to focus more on them during doctor visits," said Sleath, who also chairs the School's Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy. "Health-care providers should take advantage of this interest to engage youth more in discussions regarding ADHD and its treatment."

Sleath suggests that physicians work to make children feel more comfortable talking about their ADHD and should make a special effort to ask the children what questions they have.

"By asking children questions and letting them talk more during visits, both the provider and parent might learn more about the youth's perspective on ADHD and what they would like to learn about their condition. Improving provider-youth communication about ADHD and ADHD medications could increase adherence and improve outcomes.

Explore further: Study questions benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications

More information: Betsy Sleath et al. Youth Views on Communication About ADHD and Medication Adherence, Community Mental Health Journal (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10597-016-0078-3

Related Stories

Study questions benefits of long-term use of ADHD medications

March 13, 2017
In a study that followed more than 500 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) into adulthood, extended use of stimulant medication was linked with suppressed adult height but not with reduced symptoms ...

Kids with ADHD make 6.1 million doctor visits a year in US: CDC

January 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—Kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder account for more than 6 million physician office visits a year in the United States, say U.S. health officials.

ADHD or just immature?

March 10, 2016
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is typically diagnosed in childhood and manifests as an inability to sustain attention and control activity levels and impulse control. Some reports have indicated a prevalence ...

Sound sleep elusive for many kids with ADHD

June 8, 2016
(HealthDay)—A new study supports a claim parents have long made about children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder—kids with ADHD don't sleep as well as other kids.

CDC: More than one in 10 kids diagnosed with ADHD

November 26, 2013
(HealthDay)—More than one in 10 children and adolescents are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an increase of 42 percent in less than a decade, according to a study published online Nov. 25 ...

Children in foster care three times more likely to have ADHD diagnosis

October 23, 2015
Researchers already knew that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was the most common behavioral health diagnosis among children enrolled in Medicaid. A new study to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics ...

Recommended for you

What can twitter reveal about people with ADHD?

November 9, 2017
What can Twitter reveal about people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD? Quite a bit about what life is like for someone with the condition, according to findings published by University of Pennsylvania ...

Brain imaging reveals ADHD as a collection of different disorders

November 8, 2017
Researchers have found that patients with different types of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have impairments in unique brain systems, indicating that there may not be a one-size-fits-all explanation for the ...

Can adults develop ADHD? New research says probably not

October 20, 2017
Adults likely do not develop ADHD, according to new research by FIU clinical psychologist Margaret Sibley.

Nearly a third of college kids think ADHD meds boost grades

October 16, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many college students who abuse ADHD drugs mistakenly believe that doing so will lead to better grades, a new survey suggests.

School year 'relative age' causing bias in ADHD diagnosis, says research

October 9, 2017
Younger primary school children are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than their older peers within the same school year, new research has shown.

Eye movements reveal temporal expectation deficits in ADHD

September 12, 2017
A technique that measures tiny movements of the eyes may help scientists better understand and perhaps eventually improve assessment of ADHD, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BubbaNicholson
1 / 5 (1) Apr 20, 2017
250mg of healthy adult male facial skin surface lipid given by mouth on a chewing gum vehicle, cures ADHD immediately. The illness is merely a paternal facial skin surface pheromone deficiency and is easy to remedy. In a double blind cross over placebo controlled clinical trial in Egypt, 20 boys ages 6-9 hospitalized for ADHD were cured of it. The lipid pheromone is merely wiped from an adult male donor's face onto fresh, new, un-chewed chewing gum, then dispensed to ADHD sufferers.
The collected skin surface pheromone emits an airborne subset of smaller chain molecules which have terrible behavioral effects on staff, the patient, & anyone breathing the same atmosphere. Control with patient isolation, supplied air respirators, fume hoods storage & sealed packaging for pheromone gum with activated charcoal dunnage. Use oscillating fans. Bad effects of the airborne component include jealousy in osculation partners, + suspicion, superstition, arrogance, & stupidity/astonishment.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.