Caregivers' priorities and observed outcomes of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medication for their children

Melissa Ross, Vy Nguyen, John F.P. Bridges, Xinyi Ng, Gloria Reeves, Emily Frosch, Susan Dos Reis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To document variability among caregivers' priorities when considering medication to treat their Children's attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and explore associations between these priorities and medication-related improvements. Methods: Caregivers of children, ages 4 to 14 years, diagnosed with ADHD were recruited from outpatient clinics and support groups across Maryland. A survey gathered data on caregiver-reported concerns when considering ADHD medication, demographic characteristics, and observed and desired improvements in their child's ADHD. A validated Best-Worst Scaling instrument assessed priorities among 16 concerns when considering ADHD medication. Latent class analysis identified subgroups with similar ADHD medication concerns. Differences in self-reported medication-related improvements were examined across subgroups. Results: The 184 participants (mean 5 42 yrs) were primarily the biological mother, 68% white and 25% black. Their children were mostly male (73%) and using medication (81%). Overall, the most important ADHD medication concerns were the child becoming a successful adult (p < 0.0001), school behavior improvements (p < 0.0001), and better grades (p < 0.0001). Others thinking badly of the child was a significantly less important concern (p < 0.0001). Three subgroups were identified: short-term outcomes-oriented group (39%), long-term outcomes-oriented group (37%), and side effects/safety-oriented group (27%). Relative to the other 2 groups, a smaller proportion of the side effects/safety-oriented group desired these improvements (p < 0.2618). Conclusion: Most caregivers prioritize short-and long-term outcomes when considering ADHD medication. However, those most concerned with long-or short-term outcomes tended to desire additional improvements in their child's ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Best-Worst Scaling
  • Children and adolescents
  • Family-centered care
  • Stated preferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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