Initial findings from a review of a range of small studies indicate that nurse-led prescribing for patients with ADHD in the UK may be clinically appropriate and associated with high levels of patient satisfaction. Additional high-quality data are required to scientifically verify the value of nurse-delivered ADHD care.
Please note that this study was sponsored by Shire.
In April 2012, nurse independent practitioners in the UK were granted license to prescribe schedule 2–5 controlled drugs, which include the most common medications for ADHD.* In this review, the impact of these extended prescribing rights on mental health care, and particularly on care for patients with ADHD, were evaluated using published literature up to July 2013.
Findings from the range of small studies reviewed suggested that independent prescribing by nurses was clinically appropriate and associated with high levels of patient and parent satisfaction. Nurses were identified as being well-placed to spend time with patients, facilitating successful caregiver-patient relationships and the ability to provide flexible follow-up, including monitoring medication adherence. Nurses were also able to provide a more holistic approach to treatment compared with doctors including interactions with non-medical service providers, such as teachers.
Furthermore, although some of the studies reviewed indicated that nurse independent practitioners were confident in their own prescribing ability and that this confidence was shared by doctors; others suggested that not all doctors believed in the competency of nurses to prescribe. These differences in opinion may reflect rapidly changing views as the role of nurse prescribing expands. Nurse independent prescribers working in ADHD were encouraged to publish their experiences so that the value of their role in treating patients with ADHD could be scientifically verified, in order to support the successful growth of nurse-led services.
*Please refer to the national applicable rules and regulations regarding prescribing of medicinal products in your country
Mangle L, Phillips P, Pitts M, et al. Implementation of independent nurse prescribing in UK mental health settings: focus on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2014; 6: 269-279.