Physician perceptions of the use of medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

  • Stockl K
  • Hughes T
  • Jarrar M
 et al. 
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a prevalent mental health condition, occurring in 3% to 5% of school-aged children. Although stimulant medications are a recommended treatment for this disorder, physicians. views of these medications have not been systematically evaluated. OBJECTIVE: This study examined physician-prescriber perceptions of using medications to treat ADHD symptoms in children or adolescents. METHODS: A survey was developed with 4 physicians expert in treating ADHD in children. The survey was pilot-tested with a sample of 10 practicing physicians. A sample of 1,000 physicians, with a history of prescribing stimulant medications to children or adolescents, was randomly selected and mailed a 30-item survey. Items were rated on a 7-point response scale (strongly agree, agree, slightly agree, undecided, slightly disagree, disagree, strongly disagree). RESULTS: A total of 365 physicians responded to the survey, for a 37% response rate. More than 92% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that ADHD symptoms cause problems in pediatric patients and stimulants are effective in treating ADHD. The stimulant drug side effects of decreased appetite or weight loss, sleep disruption, and exacerbation of anxiety were a concern (strongly agree or agree response) for 32%, 50%, and 22% of physicians, respectively. Diversion of ADHD medication was a concern for 19% of respondents. Physicians reported that controlled medications for children or adolescents with ADHD are a burden for themselves (32% strongly agreed or agreed), for their staff (37% strongly agreed or agreed), and for parents (40% strongly agreed or agreed). Approximately 38% of physicians responded that they would prefer prescribing a nonstimulant medication with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration indication for treating children or adolescents instead of a stimulant medication, and 58% would prefer prescribing a noncontrolled medication that does not have evidence of abuse potential versus one that is controlled and has evidence of abuse potential. CONCLUSION: Although physicians overwhelmingly perceive stimulant medications as being effective for treating ADHD symptoms in children or adolescents, many would prefer a nonstimulant medication. While many physicians consider the side effects of the stimulants easily managed, others are concerned about prescribing stimulants because of their side effects, risk of diversion, and administrative burden. The majority of physicians would prefer to prescribe a noncontrolled medication without abuse potential instead of a controlled medication to treat children or adolescents with ADHD

Author-supplied keywords

  • ABUSE
  • ADHD
  • ADHD SYMPTOMS
  • ADOLESCENT
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • ANXIETY
  • ATTENTION
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
  • BURDEN
  • CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM
  • CHILD
  • CHILDREN
  • DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
  • DISORDER
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
  • Health
  • MEDICATION
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • Middle Aged
  • NERVOUS-SYSTEM
  • OTHERS
  • PERCEPTION
  • PRESCRIPTION
  • Patients
  • STIMULANT
  • STIMULANTS
  • Solutions
  • Support,Non-U.S.Gov't
  • TREATMENT
  • WEIGHT
  • adult ADHD
  • aged
  • appetite
  • attention deficit
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • attitude of health personnel
  • central nervous system
  • central nervous system stimulants
  • child,preschool
  • cross-sectional studies
  • deficit
  • drug
  • drug therapy
  • female
  • food
  • history
  • human
  • hyperactivity
  • male
  • mental health
  • methylphenidate
  • nervous system
  • parent
  • parents
  • pediatric
  • perceptions
  • physician's practice patterns
  • physicians
  • questionnaires
  • risk
  • school-aged children
  • side effects
  • sleep
  • stimulant medication
  • therapeutic use
  • united states
  • weight loss

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  • PMID: 14613439

Authors

  • K M Stockl

  • T E Hughes

  • M A Jarrar

  • K Secnik

  • A R Perwien

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