Educating Parents on Psychosocial Interventions for Childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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McElroy, Sara
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Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to promote positive behavior in children with ADHD by educating parents on nonpharmacological management strategies.|Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurobehavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. ADHD affects 9.4% of American children, majority of whom are managed in the primary care setting. Less than half of these children receive age-appropriate treatment resulting in decreased quality and length of life. Psychosocial interventions, combined with FDA-approved medication, are Grade A recommendations for the treatment of ADHD in children ages 6 and up.|Sample/Setting: The parents or legal guardians of children ages 4 to 18 with an existing ADHD diagnosis seen in the pediatric primary care setting met inclusion criteria for the project.|Methods: This project was divided into two phases. During phase I, parents were provided an educational toolkit containing evidence-based national ADHD resources: a parent tip sheet, daily report card, and weekly schedule template. Outcomes were measured during phase II using post-intervention surveys directed at parents and providers. Parents reported their adoption of psychosocial interventions and perception of their child’s symptoms at home and school. Providers assessed how the toolkit influenced their clinical decision making and conversations with parents.|Results: After receiving the toolkit, 75% of parents reported an improvement in their child’s ability to concentrate and complete tasks. Most parents (62.5%) perceived an improvement in their child’s behavior at home and school. Providers reported the toolkit positively influenced their clinical decision making and encouraged conversations on behavioral modifications for ADHD management.|Conclusion: This project promoted the delivery of evidence-based behavioral interventions for children with ADHD. By providing age-appropriate comprehensive treatment for this chronic condition parents and primary care providers can work together to increase function and quality of life in these patients.
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