Development of an Instrument to Assess Families' Preferences and Goals for ADHD Treatment

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OBJECTIVES: To describe the development and validation of an instrument to measure parents' attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment preferences and goals.

METHODS: Parents of children 6–12 years diagnosed with ADHD in the past 18 months were recruited from 8 primary care sites and an ADHD treatment center (autism excluded). A 16-item medication and 15-item behavior therapy preference scale and a 23-item goal scale, developed following literature review, 90 parent and clinician semi-structured interviews, and input from parent advocates and professional experts, were administered to parents. Parent cognitive interviews confirmed item readability, clarity, content, and response range. We conducted an exploratory factor analysis, assessed internal consistency and test-retest reliability, and construct and concurrent validity.

RESULTS: We recruited 237 parents (mean child age 8.1 years, 51% Black, 59% from primary care, 61% of children medication naive). Factor analyses identified 4 medication preference subscales (treatment acceptability, feasibility, stigma, and adverse effects, Cronbach's α 0.74 to 0.87); three behavior therapy subscales (treatment acceptability, feasibility, and adverse effects, α 0.76 to 0.83); and three goal subscales (academic achievement, behavioral compliance, and interpersonal relationships, α 0.83 to 0.86). The most strongly endorsed goal was academic achievement. The scales demonstrated construct validity, concurrent validity (r= 0.3–0.6) compared to the Treatment Acceptability Questionnaire and Impairment Rating Scale and moderate to excellent test-retest reliability (ICC= 0.7–0.9).

CONCLUSIONS: We developed a valid and reliable instrument for measuring preferences and goals for ADHD treatment, which may help clinicians more easily adhere to new national treatment guidelines for ADHD that emphasize shared decision making.

Authors:

Fiks AG, Mayne S, Hughes C, DeBartolo E, Behrens C, Guevara J, Power T.