Thursday, 9 May 2019

Managing ADHD: pharmacotherapy use and quality of life

"The QoL [quality of life] of the children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] and the subjective well-being of the parents improved significantly after introducing pharmacotherapy."

That was the research 'bottom line' described by Hanife Temizsoy and colleagues [1] following the publication of their study results designed to "investigate the changes of QoL of children with ADHD and their parents' subjective well-being before and after starting pharmacotherapy." Pharmacotherapy is the fancy word for medication; and the Temizsoy findings add to quite a large bank of peer-reviewed research suggesting that some medicines 'for ADHD' have a pretty good benefit-risk profile (see here). Indeed, the use of indicated medicines for ADHD seems to have some good potential for decreasing various future risks that seem to follow a diagnosis of ADHD (see here and see here).

"We assessed the QoL and the parental well-being in 60 children and adolescents with ADHD between the ages of 6 and 12 years." Various questionnaires were utilised, including the KINDL designed to assess "Health-Related Quality of Life in children and adolescents aged 3 years and older" and "the World Health Organization (WHO) Big Five Questionnaire", a short questionnaire on (current) well being. The results obtained were encouraging.

Bearing in mind that the Temizsoy was a straightforward 'before and after' study lacking important methodological features such as blinding and objective measures from physicians or other objective viewers for example, the results are important. I'm also minded to add that whilst certain medicines indicated for ADHD do seem to have quite a good track record for improving features of the condition, they are not without potential side-effects as per just about every other medicine in existence.

But... if children with ADHD and their parents/carers are reporting that their quality of life is getting better with medication compared to times without medication, surely this counts for something. With regular monitoring, good medicines management and possibly alongside the use of other potential intervention options (see here and see here for examples), ADHD for many people, is a condition that can be managed and managed well.

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[1] Temizsoy H. et al. Influence of Psychopharmacotherapy on the Quality of Life of Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2019 Mar 29.

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