Guidelines for identification and treatment of individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and associated fetal alcohol spectrum disorders based upon expert consensus

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Abstract

Background: The association of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) results in a complex constellation of symptoms that complicates the successful diagnosis and treatment of the affected individual. Current literature lacks formal guidelines, randomized control trials, and evidence-based treatment plans for individuals with ADHD and associated FASD. Therefore, a meeting of professional experts was organized with the aim of producing a consensus on identification and treatment guidelines that will aid clinicians in caring for this unique patient population. Methods: Experts from multiple disciplines in the fields of ADHD and FASD convened in London, United Kingdom, for a meeting hosted by the United Kingdom ADHD Partnership (UKAP; www.UKADHD.com) in June 2015. The meeting provided the opportunity to address the complexities of ADHD and FASD from different perspectives and included presentations, discussions, and group work. The attendees worked towards producing a consensus for a unified approach to ADHD and associated FASD. Results: The authors successfully came to consensus and produced recommended guidelines with specific regards to identification and assessment, interventions and treatments, and multiagency liaisons and care management, highlighting that a lifespan approach to treatment needs to be adopted by all involved. Included in the guidelines are: 1) unique 'red flags', which when identified in the ADHD population can lead to an accurate associated FASD diagnosis, 2) a treatment decision tree, and 3) recommendations for multiagency care management. Conclusions: While clinically useful guidelines were achieved, more research is still needed to contribute to the knowledge base about the diagnosis, treatment, and management of those with ADHD and associated FASD.

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Young, S., Absoud, M., Blackburn, C., Branney, P., Colley, B., Farrag, E., … Mukherjee, R. (2016). Guidelines for identification and treatment of individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and associated fetal alcohol spectrum disorders based upon expert consensus. BMC Psychiatry, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-016-1027-y

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