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)