Pediatric Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Follow-up

Updated: Apr 23, 2017
  • Author: Maggie A Wilkes, MD; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Follow-up for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously termed attention deficit disorder (ADD), varies and depends on the patient's profile, the clinician's experience, and the access to healthcare providers.

After the patient's condition is stabilized, a follow-up frequency of every 6-12 weeks is often appropriate for the first year.

After that, patients whose conditions are stable may do best with visits every 4 months to assess their medications.

Psychotherapy may need to be continued for months to years.

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Complications

Coexisting neuropsychiatric disorders and learning disorders can complicate the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD (ADD). See History.

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Prognosis

The prognosis for patients with ADHD (ADD) is excellent if the following conditions are present:

  • The patient has no major comorbidity.

  • Medication management takes into account minor comorbidities and the great range of individual responses.

  • Patients and caregivers receive appropriate education about ADHD (ADD) and ADHD (ADD) management.

  • Adherence to therapy continues.

  • Any and all coexisting learning disabilities are diagnosed, and remediation is scheduled and undertaken.

  • Any and all coexisting emotional problems are investigated and treated appropriately by a primary care provider or the patient is referred to a mental health professional.

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Patient Education

Provide information about the pathophysiology in lay terms.

Provide information about complementary therapeutic approaches to medication (eg, involvement of education specialists, counseling or coaching, school accommodations, parent training).

Provide clinical medication information.

Include appropriate follow-up parameters.

Attend to administrative issues related to medication (eg, prescription writing and safety, compliance with state laws).

Provide emergency information.

Seek school accommodations.

Provide contact information for local and national support organizations.

Provide literature or written resources (eg, books, periodicals).

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Mental Health Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

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