(HealthDay News) – Parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to choose medication if the goal is academic achievement but more likely to choose behavior therapy if the goal is behavioral compliance, according to a study published online Sept. 2 in Pediatrics.

Alexander G. Fiks, MD, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues surveyed 148 parents or guardians of children 6–12 years old diagnosed with ADHD regarding their treatment preferences and goals.

The researchers observed a significant association between treatment initiation and parents preference for medication (odds ratio [OR], 2.6) or behavior therapy (OR, 2.2) at baseline. Medication was more likely when the goal was academic achievement (OR, 2.1), while behavior therapy was more likely when the goal was behavioral compliance (OR, 1.6). After six months, parents appeared to have achieved their goals, since they had reduced academic and behavioral goals.

“Supporting the clinical utility of preference and goal assessment, we found that parental treatment preferences are associated with treatment initiation, and those with distinct goals select different treatments,” Fiks and colleagues conclude.

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