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Recommendations Developed for Management of Complex ADHD

Treatment should include evidence-based approaches and account for coexisting conditions

THURSDAY, Feb. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — In a Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline, published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, recommendations are presented for the management of complex attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood.

William J. Barbaresi, M.D., from Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts, and colleagues developed guidelines to facilitate integrated, interprofessional assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with complex ADHD.

According to the guidelines, upon referral from a primary care clinician, a clinician with specialized training or expertise should initiate a comprehensive assessment and develop a multimodal treatment plan for any child or adolescent with suspected or diagnosed complex ADHD. Previous diagnoses should be verified and coexisting conditions assessed using an evidence-based approach. Psychoeducation about ADHD and its coexisting conditions and evidence-based behavioral and educational interventions should be implemented at treatment outset. Behavioral and educational interventions should be provided to all children and adolescents with complex ADHD. Treatment should include evidence-based approaches and account for coexisting conditions while respecting family background and preferences. Treatment should focus on functional impairment, not just reduction of symptoms. Treatment of complex ADHD should include ongoing scheduled monitoring of patients throughout the life span, with an emphasis on key developmental transitions.

“Treatment for children and adolescents with complex ADHD should focus on improvement in function — behaviorally, socially, academically — over the patient’s life, not just improving ADHD symptoms,” Barbaresi said in a statement.

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