Parental Preferences and Goals Regarding ADHD Treatment
OBJECTIVES: To describe the association between parents’ attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment preferences and goals and treatment initiation.
METHODS: Parents/guardians of children aged 6 to 12 years diagnosed with ADHD in the past 18 months and not currently receiving combined treatment (both medication and behavior therapy [BT]) were recruited from 8 primary care sites and an ADHD treatment center. Parents completed the ADHD Preference and Goal Instrument, a validated measure, and reported treatment receipt at 6 months. Logistic regression was used to analyze the association of baseline preferences and goals with treatment initiation. Using linear regression, we compared the change in preferences and goals over 6 months for children who initiated treatment versus others.
RESULTS: The study included 148 parents/guardians. Baseline medication and BT preference were associated with treatment initiation (odds ratio [OR]: 2.6 [95% confidence interval (CI):1.2–5.5] and 2.2 [95% CI: 1.0–5.1], respectively). The goal of academic achievement was associated with medication initiation (OR: 2.1 [95% CI: 1.3–3.4]) and the goal of behavioral compliance with initiation of BT (OR: 1.6 [95% CI: 1.1–2.4]). At 6 months, parents whose children initiated medication or BT compared with others had decreased academic and behavioral goals, suggesting their goals were attained. However, only those initiating BT had diminished interpersonal relationship goals.
CONCLUSIONS: Parental treatment preferences were associated with treatment initiation, and those with distinct goals selected different treatments. Results support the formal measurement of preferences and goals in practice as prioritized in recent national guidelines for ADHD management.