90% of Doctors Do Not Appropriately Monitor Children’s Progress on ADHD Meds

Rob Wipond
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Nearly one-third of pediatricians who treat children for ADHD do not follow the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders when diagnosing them, and 90% don’t do appropriate follow-up monitoring, according to research in Pediatrics. “A large number of pediatricians also do not gather parent and teacher ratings of a child’s day-to-day behavior, information that is crucial in diagnosing ADHD and tracking whether prescribed therapies are working,” reported Medical Xpress.

The research involved about 1,600 patient charts selected at random from 188 pediatric health care providers at 50 practices in central and northern Ohio.

Nine out of 10 children diagnosed with ADHD were taking psychiatric medication, while only one in 10 of those were receiving andjunct behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. Nearly half of the children taking medications had not even seen their treating pediatrician within the first month after being put on the drugs. And within the first year after prescribing ADHD medications, about 90% of physicians did not consult parents or teachers about the child’s progress.

“The quality of care seems to be very low and not in accord with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines,” lead author Jeffery Epstein, director of the Center for ADHD, Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told Medical Xpress. Epstein called the findings “disturbing.”

Typical ADHD care leaves room for improvement, study finds (Medical Press, November 3, 2014)

(Abstract) Variability in ADHD Care in Community-Based Pediatrics (Epstein, Jeffery N. Pediatrics. Published online November 3, 2014. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-1500)

6 COMMENTS

  1. So sad…I have come to believe that we are living in a corportocracy

    Modern medicine seems beholden to monied interests…corporations are ‘people’ and real people are losing their rights and their voice…

    I had someone try and talk me into putting my son on ADHD meds years ago…so glad I resisted…environmental supports and a respect for different learning styles worked without the side effects..

  2. No child should ever be medicated with these neurotoxins used to “treat” a “condition” that was voted into existence by “psychiatrists” who are busy pretending they are “real” doctors.

    I taught a young teenager who was put on Ritalin when she was 6 years old. She was simply brilliant, hyper, bored with school, and so, disruptive in the classroom. She should have been outside climbing trees or in a gifted program doing something relevant.

    Now, at the age of 25, this young woman is “bipolar”, on multiple drugs, having to cut classes, change career goals, etc. I have little doubt what propelled her into this brain state.

    Every doctor who prescribes ADHD drugs should be prosecuted for child abuse.
    Absolute lunacy.

  3. Maybe because there is no progress? There are studies to show that all the “benefit” of the drugs is just behavioural control (“oh he’s just so much calmer and attentive”) and self-delusion (people feel that they are performing better while the objective measures show little change).

  4. This is not surprising, but it is appalling. When we know that stimulants provide at best short term relief from the “symptoms” of “ADHD,” the lack of additional psychosocial supports (10%) is gravely disappointing, or would be if I had any belief that the doctors involved even know or care about the long-term study results. But even in the short term, they aren’t even bothering to check and see if their drug is ameliorating the so-called symptoms!!! As if making the diagnosis and dispensing the drug ends their responsibility as a doctor. They really have become more and more like pushers. Disgusting!

    —- Steve

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