ADHD Treatment Trends Explored in Pediatric Study

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Findings based upon publicly-insured children from 2001 to 2010
Findings based upon publicly-insured children from 2001 to 2010

HealthDay News — More Medicaid-covered children are receiving treatments that conform to practice standards for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including the use of combined medication and psychotherapy, according to a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

Kimberly E. Hoagwood, PhD, from New York University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed trends over 10 years (2001 to 2010) from Medicaid claims data describing changes over time in medication, psychotherapy, and combined treatment services for children diagnosed with ADHD.

The researchers found that over the study period more children received treatments that conformed to practice standards, including the use of combination treatments of medication and psychotherapy, which increased by 74%. Rates of psychotherapy alone more than doubled, while rates of medication alone decreased by 18%. Rates of diagnoses without any reimbursed treatment decreased by 39%.

"These trends suggest increasing adherence to clinical practice standards by providers serving children with ADHD in the Medicaid population, although the quality of those services is unknown," the authors write.

Abstract
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