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Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 Apr;11(4):557-63. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.39.

Early detection and intervention for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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Institute for Disorder of Impulse and Attention, School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a high-cost/high-burden disorder. Early detection and intervention may prevent or ameliorate the development of the disorder and reduce its long-term impact. In this article, we set out a rationale for an early detection and intervention program. First, we highlight the costs of the condition and second, we discuss the limitations of the current treatments. We then outline the potential value of an early detection and intervention program. We review evidence on predictors of poor outcomes for early ADHD signs and discuss how these might allow us to target early intervention more cost-effectively. We then examine potential barriers to engagement with at-risk samples. This leads to a discussion of possible intervention approaches and how these could be improved. Finally, we describe the Program for Early Detection and Intervention for ADHD (PEDIA), a 5-year program of research supported by the UK National Institute for Health Research and conducted at the University of Southampton (Southampton, UK), which aims to develop and evaluate a strategy for early intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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