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ObjectiveTo describe the relationships between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) care practices and subsequent medication use.MethodA retrospective cohort from a random sample of medical records in 50 pediatric practices with 188 providers, including 1,352 children who started ADHD medication, was studied. Independent variables included physician behaviors related to medication titration and monitoring of treatment response. Primary outcomes were number of days covered with ADHD medication during the first year of treatment and time from starting medicine to the first 30-day gap in medication supply. Multilevel modeling and Cox proportional hazards regression models were conducted.ResultsChildren had an average medication supply of 217 days in the first year. Half experienced a 30-day gap in medication supply in the first 3 months. Nearly three-fourths had a medication adjustment in the first year with the first adjustment usually being a dosage change. The average time to the first medication adjustment was over 3 months. Physician’s first contact with parents occurred in the first month of treatment for less than half, with the average time being over 2 months. Little variation related to ADHD care quality was accounted for at the physician level. Early titration and early contact were related to greater medication supply and continuity of treatment.ConclusionEarlier physician-delivered ADHD care (e.g., contact with parent after starting medication and medication adjustment) is related to greater medication supply and continuity. It remains to be determined whether interventions that improve the quality of titration and monitoring practices for children with ADHD would also improve medication continuity.
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - Volume 55, Issue 4, April 2016, Pages 289–294