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Feature Article Paediatrics
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: psychosocial interventions for young people

Jo Winther
Secondary symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and co-occurring problems can persist in young people despite medication and be crucial to long-term prognosis. They include social, learning and behavioural difficulties and mental health problems. Psychosocial assessment and interventions such as behavioural management programs and school support are important components of treatment.
Key Points
  • Secondary symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as social, learning and behavioural difficulties, can be crucial to the long-term prognosis of young people with this condition and can persist even with pharmacological treatment.
  • Co-occurring problems, especially language-based learning difficulties, can contribute to primary and secondary ADHD symptoms and influence psychological therapies.
  • A comprehensive assessment to identify secondary symptoms and co-occurring problems is essential in young people with ADHD.
  • Secondary symptoms and co-occurring problems vary greatly between individuals, suggesting that there is no ‘one size fits all’ psychosocial intervention.
  • Treatment of ADHD is most effective when a combination of cognitive behavioural management strategies, school support and medication is used, with allied health referral when appropriate.

    Picture credit: © Alamy/Wonderlandstock/ Model used for illustrative purposes only.

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