A multimodal approach that goes beyond stimulant medications is the most beneficial type of treatment plan for children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Psych Congress Steering Committee member Julie Carbray, PhD, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, APRN, said at the 2018 Elevate by Psych Congress conference.
Dr. Carbray, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Nursing, Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, recommended several components of such a plan: behavioral therapy, school-based interventions, home-school communication, parent management training, frequent check-ups, and psychopharmacology.
“If you combine those gold standards—school interventions, parent management training— along with medication, you’re going to have much more robust outcomes than if you do medication alone or therapy alone,” she said, citing results from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD published in 1999 and 2001.
She pointed to a multitude of reasons why it is important not to leave ADHD untreated in young people. Not treating the illness makes children more likely to self-medicate, engage in other risky behaviors, have difficulty in school, contract a sexually transmitted disease, cause or have an unwanted pregnancy, and suffer injuries, according to Dr. Carbray's presentation.