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November 1995

Pediatricians' Knowledge and Attitudes Concerning Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders: A National Survey Approach

Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Group of Riverside, Calif (Dr Kwasman); the Department of Psychology, University of California–Riverside (Dr Tinsley and Ms Lepper); and Loma Linda (Calif) University Medical Center (Dr Tinsley).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(11):1211-1216. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170240029004

Objective:  To examine pediatricians' knowledge and attitudes concerning the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).

Design:  Cross-sectional survey.

Setting:  United States.

Participants:  Three hundred eighty pediatricians comprising respondents from a random sample of 1000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Interventions:  None.

Measurements/Main Results:  Pediatricians' perceptions of diagnostic modalities, child and family communication concerning ADD and ADHD diagnosis and treatment, and a variety of treatment issues were assessed in this study. Findings indicate that methylphenidate (Ritalin) hydrochloride is the most prescribed medication for treatment of ADD and ADHD. Pediatricians reported common parent and child misperceptions about ADD and ADHD treatment. Results suggest a wide range of reported physician behavior with respect to the diagnosis and treatment of ADD and ADHD.

Conclusion:  Greater attention could be paid to providing accurate information in medical and educator training with respect to the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of ADD and ADHD.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:1211-1216)

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