Treatment Guidelines for Preschoolers with ADHD Rarely Followed

A survey of pediatric subspecialists found that 9 in 10 do not follow guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics for treating preschoolers with ADHD.

This article was originally published in the Pharmacy Times website.

The “overwhelming majority” of pediatric subspecialists do not comply with guidelines for treating preschoolers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the results of a survey presented on May 4, 2013, at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The survey was carried out by researchers from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

According to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), preschoolers with ADHD should be treated first with behavioral modification. If this fails, the guidelines call for using methylphenidate as a first-line medication. To determine how well these guidelines are being followed, the researchers sent a questionnaire to a random sample of 3000 US pediatric subspecialists asking how often they recommend behavioral modification training for parents, how often they recommend medication as first- or second-line treatment, and which medication type they tend to prescribe first.

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