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March 1991

Stimulant Medication and Attention Deficit—Hyperactivity Disorder: The Child's Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(3):291-295. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160030059021

• Fifty-eight children receiving stimulant medication for attention deficit—hyperactivity disorder at referral clinics for learning disabilities at two teaching hospitals in Massachusetts were invited to participate in a study of their knowledge and attitudes. The 45 respondents and parents completed separate questionnaires concerning how they felt about receiving stimulant medication. Eighty-nine percent of the children felt that the medication was helpful and 78% liked or were indifferent to it despite a high rate (85%) of reported side effects. The five children (11%) who responded that they would stop taking stimulant medication if they could were more likely to perceive the medication as unhelpful and were receiving standard methylphenidate hydrochloride rather than a long-acting preparation. We conclude that children's perspectives on medication should be elicited directly and sustained-release medication may be more acceptable to children with attention deficit—hyperactivity disorder.

(AJDC. 1991;145:291-295)

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