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An evaluation of medication adherence in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder using the theory of reasoned action and planned behaviour Scoular, Douglas

Abstract

Medication to treat children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been shown to be highly efficacious. Despite that, medication adherence rates have been shown to range from 60 to 80%. Mothers have an important role in providing medication to their children with ADHD. In predicting mothers' medication providing behaviour, mothers' cognitions may be an important factor. A theoretical model, The Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behaviour (TRAPB), was used to evaluate mothers' cognitions in predicting mothers' medication adherence behaviour for their children with ADHD. This theory proposes that an individual's attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behaviour control cognitions predict their intentions to perform behaviour, and that intentions predict actual behaviour. Fifty-five mothers and their elementary school age children with ADHD took part in the study. Mothers provided their attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and intentions regarding providing medication to their children over an upcoming 2-week period. Both mothers and children reported medication adherence information during the 2-week period. Although mothers' attitudes and subjective norms predicted their intentions to provide medication, mothers' intentions failed to predict their medication adherence behaviour. Thus, this study's results suggest limited clinical applications for the TRAPB theory with regards to predicting medication adherence in children with ADHD. Some evidence, however, was presented that individual TRAPB items, along with non-TRAPB variables were predictive of mothers' medication adherence.

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