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Cleve Clin J Med. 2015 Nov;82(11 Suppl 1):S2-7. doi: 10.3949/ccjm.82.s1.01.

ADHD and behavioral disorders: Assessment, management, and an update from DSM-5.

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Center for Pediatric Behavioral Health, Cleveland Clinic Children's, Cleveland, OH, USA. E-mail:


Behavioral disorders in pediatric patients--primarily attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)--pose a clinical challenge for health care providers to accurately assess, diagnose, and treat. In 2013, updated diagnostic criteria for behavioral disorders were published, including ADHD and a new diagnostic entity: disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. Revised criteria for ADHD includes oldest age for occurrence of symptoms, need for symptoms to be present in more than one setting, and requirement for number of symptoms in those aged 17 and older. Assessment of ADHD relies primarily on the clinical interview, including the medical and social history, along with the aid of objective measures. The clinical course of ADHD is chronic with symptom onset occurring well before adolescence. Most patients have symptoms that continue into adolescence, and some into adulthood. Many patients with ADHD have comorbid disorders such as depression, disruptive behavior disorders, or substance abuse, which need to be addressed first in the treatment plan. Treatment of ADHD relies on a combination of psychopharmacologic, academic, and behavioral interventions, which produce response rates up to 80%.

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