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30 Aug 2016

Jacobson S et al. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 2016; 32: 152-159.

A recent study in Sweden aimed to identify questions related to ADHD which need to be urgently addressed in the opinion of patients with ADHD, their families and other concerned professionals (school, health and correctional services personnel). A list of the top ten topics of interest was generated.

Participants in this study were recruited by the Swedish Council on Health and Technology Assessment, and included individuals with ADHD and/or individuals closely related to someone with ADHD (n=7 collectively), two psychologists, a psychiatrist, a primary care physician, a corrective services officer, a school counsellor and a specialist educator. Participants received by mail a list of ADHD-related questions, from which they selected the top ten most pressing questions that they considered to deserve urgent attention. This was followed by a workshop to reach a consensus on the top ten ADHD research priorities.

A list of the ten most important topics related to ADHD treatment was endorsed by all participants. These topics are in decreasing order of priority:

  • Long-term risk of drug dependency when methylphenidate is used during childhood
  • Effects of teacher support
  • Effects of multimodal therapy
  • Efficacy and tolerability of methylphenidate versus atomoxetine treatment
  • Effects of methylphenidate in substance abusers
  • Efficacy of support programmes for parents
  • Effects of supported conversation
  • Effects of computer-aided working memory training
  • Effects of psychoeducation
  • Effects of melatonin treatment for sleep disorders.

The list of priority topics described in this study may only reflect the opinions of the study participants and may not be representative of the views of the wider population or other cultural groups. Another limitation may be that the priority setting exercise relied on scientific uncertainties previously identified in a health and technology assessment report published in 2013 rather than identifying relevant research questions using a qualitative survey of stakeholders. However, these results demonstrated that, despite diverging opinions on some topics, different parties involved in the management of ADHD can agree on research priorities for ADHD treatment.

Read more about the top research priorities for ADHD treatment in Sweden here

Jacobson S, Östlund P, Wallgren L, et al. Top ten research priorities for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder treatment. Int J Technol Assess Health Care 2016; 32: 152-159.

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