ADHD Service Use Patterns in Youth

  • Laurel K. Leslie
    Address correspondence to Laurel K. Leslie, MD, Child & Adolescent Services Research Center, Children’s Hospital San Diego, 3020 Children’s Way MC 5033, San Diego, CA 92123.
    Child & Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC), Pediatrics Department at the University of California, San Diego, and Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif USA
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  • Mark L. Wolraich
    Department of Pediatrics, Oklahoma University Child Study Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center USA.
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      To review what is currently known about service use by youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and discuss research and policy implications.


      Literature review.


      The primary care, mental health, and educational service system sectors all play an essential role in caring for youth with ADHD. Recent studies also suggest increasing use of stimulants and other psychoactive medication for youth with ADHD, decreasing mental health visits for ADHD unassociated with medication use, increased use of other psychotropic medications, and a number of barriers to care coordination across primary care, mental health, and schools.


      Four important services, research, and policy areas that need to be addressed over the next decade include: 1) delving deeper into current service use, 2) paying attention to the context in which service use occurs, 3) operationalizing evidence-based care for real-world settings, and 4) learning what changes clinician and educator behavior.

      Key words

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