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Feature Article

Managing ADHD: getting the balance right

Alasdair Vance

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Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is common and usually presents with other comorbid psychiatric disorders that need to be recognised and treated. Careful ongoing patient monitoring across developmental stages is needed to get the balance of medication and psychosocial/educational interventions right.

Key Points

  • A careful and comprehensive assessment is needed to develop an effective treatment plan for a patient with ADHD. Multiple informants should be involved.
  • Behavioural symptoms must always be evaluated, with consideration of the developmental stage of the young person.
  • Key comorbid conditions have to be identified and specific treatments applied for them.
  • Psychosocial interventions and medications for ADHD always need to be tailored for an individual patient to maximise benefits and minimise adverse effects.
  • GPs have a central role in monitoring an approved treatment plan and liaising with the paediatrician and/or child and adolescent psychiatrist.
  • Careful ongoing patient monitoring across the developmental stages is required to get the balance of medication and psychosocial/educational interventions right.

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