Evidence-Based Reviews

Strategies for improving ADHD medication adherence

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Health disparity-reducing interventions. Successful health disparity-reducing interventions—such as those developed to enhance care of other chronic disorders including asthma and diabetes—can be applied to improve ADHD care. These interventions, which include medical-legal partnerships (eg, between clinicians, social workers, legal advocates, and community partners) in primary care centers, have been shown to improve health insurance coverage and therefore health care access.80,81 Although some hardships linked to nonadherence (eg, low socioeconomic status) may not be amenable to health care–related interventions, screening for these hardships can identify children who are most at risk for poor adherence. This would alert clinicians to proactively identify barriers to adherence and implement mitigation strategies. This might include developing more streamlined, easier-to-follow management plans for these patients, such as those that can be delivered through pharmacist-physician collaborative programs82 and school-based therapy programs.83-85

Bottom Line

Suboptimal adherence to medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be addressed through patient/family education, behavioral strategies, clinician interventions, peer support models, and health disparity-reducing interventions. By improving ADHD treatment adherence, these interventions have the potential to maximize long-term outcomes.

Related Resources

Drug Brand Name

Methylphenidate • Concerta, Ritalin


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