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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Management of ADHD in Children, Young People and Adults

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Diagnosis and Management of ADHD in Children, Young People and Adults

NICE Clinical Guidelines - National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK)

Version: 2009


This guideline is concerned with the management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (Text Revision) (DSM-IV-TR) as well as hyperkinetic disorder, as defined in the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) in primary, community and secondary care.


Ms Mary Sainsbury


This guideline has been developed to advise on the treatment and management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The guideline recommendations have been developed by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, service users and carers, and guideline methodologists after careful consideration of the best available evidence. It is intended that the guideline will be useful to clinicians and service commissioners in providing and planning high-quality care for people with ADHD while also emphasising the importance of the experience of care for them and their carers (see Appendix 1 for more details on the scope of the guideline).


Professor Eric Taylor (Chair, Guideline Development Group)


Dietary interventions in the treatment of ADHD have been widely used and take the form of supplementation with substances thought to be deficient or exclusion of substances thought to be harmful. Research, however, has encountered many difficulties of methodology and feasibility: changes in food and drink are subject to many confounding influences, are difficult to disguise in controlled trials and may be hard to comply with. Trials often fail to meet the usual criteria of quality for these reasons, or because of poor reporting of methodological details, because of very small numbers, or because most of the studies are based on non-ADHD samples. Furthermore, most of the trial evidence is based on crossover studies that do not lend themselves to a quantitative methodology, especially when pre-crossover scores are not provided. Therefore a narrative, rather than a systematic, approach has been taken for this topic, and any conclusions are correspondingly tentative.

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