Many kids get inadequate ADHD care from doctors

Many paediatricians fail to follow guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children.

Many paediatricians provide inadequate care for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), relying too heavily on drugs and failing to thoroughly assess kids’ symptoms, a new study reports.

Nearly one-third of paediatricians who diagnose children with ADHD do not consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a necessary step in determining if the kids meet the criteria for the brain disorder, researchers found.

A large number of paediatricians also do not gather parent and teacher ratings of a child’s day-to-day behaviour, information that is crucial in diagnosing ADHD and tracking whether prescribed therapies are working, the study said.

And finally, doctors appear to lean heavily on drugs for treating ADHD. Nine out of 10 kids with ADHD are on some sort of medication. But only one out of 10 kids is receiving behavioural therapy or psychotherapy as well, according to the study.

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