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Improve Education on ADHD Meds

A new study presents some of the reasons why children and adolescents stop taking prescription stimulant medications used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Researchers believe improved education on how the medication works, potential side effects and dangers of abuse is needed among children, parents and healthcare providers.

Social stigma and feeling lifeless and/or alienated from one’s peers are some of the reasons why children and adolescents stop taking prescription stimulant medications used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the study published in the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing.

ADHD is a common neurobehavioral disorder, affecting 4.4 million children in the United States between the ages of 4 and 17.

Following diagnosis, 56 percent are treated with prescription stimulant medications. According to the study, many stop using these medications even while they are still exhibiting symptoms of the disorder, despite research indicating these medications are effectively reducing hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention.

The study also found that while ADHD is a chronic disorder, none of the adolescents interviewed had received ongoing education about their condition. As college students, many used the medications irregularly, sometimes in doses exceeding the prescribed amount, and often at night – factors that may exacerbate the side effects.

Julie B. Meaux, PhD, RNC, lead author of the study, suggests that “dialogue between the child, parents and healthcare provider about the general effects, side effects and potential abuse of prescribed stimulant medications is essential,” adding “careful administration of dosages, based on input from the child, is exceedingly important.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Improve Education on ADHD Meds

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Improve Education on ADHD Meds. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 11, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/12/18/improve-education-on-adhd-meds/485.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.