Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment for pediatrics
Brewer, John Mikkel
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Attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly diagnosed in children, and the frequency of this disorder being diagnosed and treated continues to rise each year. The research regarding treatment for pediatric ADHD has shown varied results ranging from pharmacological and behavioral therapies producing positive effects when combined to standalone behavioral therapy or medication producing positive effects with no therapeutic intervention. There are two published guidelines on the management of pediatric ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health each created a guideline for evaluating, diagnosing, and treating pediatric patients with ADHD. This project analyzed ADHD treatments for children ages 4 to 18 years in an acute, inpatient psychiatric setting, and in an inpatient, residential-treatment-care setting. A comparison of these treatments with the national guidelines was conducted. This scholarly project compared pediatric ADHD treatment in an inpatient, acute-care unit versus a residential-care unit of a psychiatric children's hospital. Readmission rates within 30 days of discharge from a psychiatric children's hospital have been analyzed, and care practices have been compared with the national guidelines. Data was extracted from electronic medical records from the psychiatric children's hospital's healthcare record system. The types of data that were extracted included demographics, such as age, comorbid diagnoses, and concomitant medications; in addition to types of treatment, readmission rates, and treatment setting. Type-of-treatment data included type of medication versus treatment setting. The findings suggest that medications other than methylphenidate may have similar efficacy as methylphenidate for treating pediatric ADHD. The inpatient psychiatric unit is not necessarily following the National Clinical Guidelines for treating pediatric and adolescent ADHD, but the results reveal that methylphenidate versus non-methylphenidate treatment for ADHD does not demonstrate a statistically significant difference with respect to inpatient readmission rates. The research identified that patients receiving residential care for ADHD had a higher likelihood of being readmitted to the hospital than patients receiving acute care, and patients' readmission rates were not statistically significantly different regarding methylphenidate versus non-methylphenidate medication-treatment regimens. Overall, this research identified that medications other than methylphenidate can be effective in treating patients with ADHD.