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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1998 Dec;37(12):1262-70.

Clinical and treatment characteristics of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in psychiatric practice.

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American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC 20005, USA.



To capture information about the clinical characteristics of, and treatments for, children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in psychiatric practice.


A mailed, self-administered questionnaire was sent to 81 practicing psychiatrists for them to complete on the next three consecutive patients aged 14 years and younger with ADHD seen during the 12-day study period. Information collected included the sociodemographic, clinical, and treatment characteristics of sampled patients.


Patients in the study were predominantly white (85%), male (78%), and between 10 and 14 years old (58%). The most common ADHD subtype was combined/predominantly hyperactive (86%); 31% had no other comorbidity. Ninety-seven percent were receiving medications, with 49% receiving two or more. The single most common medication reported was methylphenidate (51% of patients) followed by clonidine (20%). Psychotropics other than psychostimulants were used in a majority of patients (55%).


Psychiatrists, and child and adolescent psychiatrists in particular, see a more severely impaired and complex group of patients than would be expected of primary care providers. The treatment patterns of psychiatrists for these patients do not reflect the simpler treatments usually studied in clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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