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J Paediatr Child Health. 1999 Oct;35(5):450-3.

Utilization of alternative therapies in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1State Child Development Centre, West Perth, Western Australia.



To identify the prevalence of use, the referral patterns and the perceived benefit of alternative therapy in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


A mailed questionnaire survey was undertaken in June 1993, of the use of various therapies by families of 381 children with ADHD. The respondent rate was 76%.


Of respondents, 69% were using stimulant medication and 64% had used or were using a non-prescriptional therapy. Diet therapies were the most commonly used alternative therapy (60%). There was no statistical difference in the prevalence of use of other therapies between the medicated and non-medicated groups. The non-medicated group reported more benefit from some alternative therapies. Physicians were commonly involved in the suggestion to try a modified diet. School teachers, family and friends were the main source of suggestion of alternative therapies.


Clinicians should be aware of the range of alternative therapies and of their frequent use by families of children with attentional problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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