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24 May 2016

Flood E et al. J Affect Disord 2016; 200: 222-234.

ADHD places a heavy burden on the life of patients and their families. Studies are needed to assess the difficulties encountered by caregivers, and to identify unmet needs for the management of ADHD in children and adolescents.

Please note that this study was funded by Shire.

The Caregiver Perspective on Paediatric ADHD (CAPPA) is a cross-sectional (November 2012–April 2013), web-based survey conducted among caregivers of children and adolescents with ADHD (age 6–17 years) who were currently receiving or had received pharmacotherapy for attention-deficit disorder or ADHD in the past 6 months. Ten countries were surveyed: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Survey questions gathered data on the sociodemographic characteristics of caregivers and their child/adolescent with ADHD, ADHD comorbidities, medication type and period of use, and effects of treatment on the patient and caregivers’ life quality. Data gathered from 3688 surveys were evaluated.

Data analysis showed that caregivers were primarily females (66%) and most were married (81%). In children/adolescents, ADHD diagnosis was highly prevalent in males (80%), with formal diagnosis at a mean age of 6.9 years. The majority of children (78%) were receiving pharmacotherapy at the time of the survey; of these, most (83%) were receiving stimulant therapy. Comorbidities were reported in 49% of children/adolescents. The majority of caregivers (80–88%) reported that their children/adolescents experienced some degree of difficulty with school work and social interactions, and caused strain on family relationships even when the child was receiving treatment. A greater proportion of caregivers reported that their child had no difficulty with social interactions (20% compared with 9%) when on ADHD medication compared with off medication. A greater proportion of caregivers also reported that their child had no difficulty with school work (12% compared with 2%) and that there was no strain on the child’s relationships with their caregiver (19% compared with 7%) or siblings (17% compared with 7%), when on medication compared with off medication.

Despite the efficacy of ADHD treatments, the findings of this survey underscore the continuous burden of ADHD on patients and their families, and point to the need to further improve functional outcomes, even among children/adolescents who are receiving pharmacological interventions for ADHD.

Read more about the CAPPA survey here

Flood E, Gajria K, Sikirica V, et al. The Caregiver Perspective on Paediatric ADHD (CAPPA) survey: understanding sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, treatment use and impact of ADHD in Europe. J Affect Disord 2016; 200: 222-234.

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