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Adherence among adolescents prescribed medication for symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Ohan, Jeneva Lee


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a relatively common psychiatric disorder that is characterized by inappropriate levels of inattention and/or hyperactive-impulsive behaviours. Although stimulant medication is known to be an effective way to manage ADHD symptoms for adolescents with the disorder, there has been a lack of research into behaviours that may compromise the effectiveness, of this treatment, such as nonadherence to the medication. This study was designed to investigate the association between parent and adolescent reported rates of adherence and rationally derived factors that were hypothesized to relate to adherence amongst adolescents with ADHD. In this study, none of the rationally derived factors that showed adequate evidence for internal reliability (i.e., perceived barriers to medication taking, perceived benefits to medication taking, individual characteristics, and social influences) correlated With or predicted adherence reports for 29 adolescents prescribed medication for ADHD symptoms. Exploratory analyses revealed that two items from the interview used were correlated with adherence reports; these indicated that adolescents who perceived their medication as addictable were less adherent, and adolescents who perceive their disorder as heritable were more adherent. Adherence reports also correlated with parent reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. The two items identified by the exploratory analyses, in addition to the parent reported anxious/depressed symptoms, accounted for 23% of the variance in adherence reports. Another interesting result was the high rates of reported adherence, in contrast to low rates that were expected. Possible explanations for these results, in addition to directions for future research in this area, are discussed.

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