(Reuters Health) – Most kids in the U.S. who take medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are not getting behavioral counseling therapy as well, according to a new study.
The analysis, based on a commercial insurance database, also found the proportion of kids with ADHD who do get therapy varies widely from region to region.
“Although I expected rates of psychotherapy to differ across counties, I was surprised by the amount by which they differed,” said Dr. Walid F. Gellad, lead author of the new research letter.
“In some counties, it’s less than 10 percent of kids, and in other counties it’s almost 50 percent,” said Gellad, an adjunct scientist at the RAND corporation and a physician and researcher at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and University of Pittsburgh.
“For some kids, medication alone may be best, and for others, combination (therapy) may be better,” he said.
Guidelines don’t require behavioral therapy for treating children with ADHD. For teens, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that doctors prescribe approved medications, like Adderall or Ritalin, says they may also prescribe behavior therapy, and suggests that combining the two is preferable. For elementary school-age kids, AAP recommends medication and/or therapy.
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