Send to

Choose Destination
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2007 Aug;16(5):327-36. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

The use of health care services and psychotropic medication in a community sample of 9-year-old schoolchildren with ADHD.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Gent, Belgium.



To examine the prevalence of the use of health care services and psychotropic medication within a community sample (N = 283) of 9-year-old school children and, more specifically, to evaluate the use of prescribed stimulants.


Data from the second follow-up phase of the "Study of Attention Deficit Maastricht" (SAM) were analysed. Assessments at age 9 included a structured psychiatric interview with parents, behaviour and family situation questionnaire, IQ estimate and global assessment scale. Use of health care services and medication was obtained by the DICA-R and from the Youth Health Care records.


About 190 children of the selected sample had at least one child psychiatric diagnosis, 26 (14%) of them were clinically referred and 12 (6%) received stimulants. Of the children with ADHD (N = 45), 10/45 (22%) received stimulants. Conversely, 2 out of 12 children who were treated with stimulants did not meet full DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, but were subthreshold ADHD cases. The treatment status was highly dependent on being clinically referred.


The major finding of our survey is a lack of referral to child mental health services, and associated underdiagnosis and undertreatment, particularly in children with ADHD. There is a critical need to translate and implement the diagnostic and treatment guidelines to clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center