Study found teaching positive parenting skills in compassionate way improved outcomes.
For children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), receiving more family-centered, compassionate care may be more effective than standard care, a new study found.
Researchers compared two types of “collaborative care,” in which special care managers act as intermediaries between a family and their child’s doctors.
One approach was standard collaborative care while the other was “enhanced,” which meant the care managers had received several days of training to teach parents healthy parenting skills and interact with families in an open-minded, non-judgmental, empathetic way.
“I think it’s a very powerful tool in medicine and it’s being used more and more, but it’s still not widespread in terms of how doctors interact with patients and their families,” said study author Dr. Michael Silverstein, an associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.
Silverstein added that the care managers who were trained did not have advanced degrees or formal mental health education and licensing. “This could be potentially significant for how to provide care in settings or among populations who might not be able to afford or have access to Ph.D.-level psychologists,” he said.
One expert further explained the importance of collaborative care.
“Collaborative care attempts to improve adherence by checking in with families regularly to see how they are doing, helping to ensure they understand and agree with the treatment recommendations, and identifying and alleviating any obstacles to effective treatment that may arise as promptly as possible,” explained Dr. Glen Elliott, chief psychiatrist and medical director of Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, Calif.
The findings were published online March 23 and will appear in the April print issue of the journal Pediatrics.
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