AAFP Adult ADHD Toolkit Raises “Measurably” Awareness of the Disorder

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September 14, 2021

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The American Academy of Family Physicians’ ADHD Adult Toolkit has “measurably increased” awareness of the disorder among health care providers, the researchers wrote.

Adults affected by ADHD generally consult their primary care practitioner before any other health care professional, according to Natalia Y. Loskutova, MD, PhD, a project director at the University of Kansas Medical Center and one of the creators and colleagues of the Toolkit.

However, “primary care practitioners receive little training to diagnose and treat adult ADHD and know little about the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of diagnostic and treatment options for this disorder,” they wrote. in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Development of the toolkit was overseen by seven medical professionals and one adult with the disorder, the researchers said. It contains information on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management of ADHD in specific groups including adolescents, young adults, the elderly, people with substance use disorders and those having a coexisting mental health problem.

In the new study, the researchers used a single-arm repeated measures intervention approach to assess the tool’s clinical value. They surveyed 97 primary and behavioral health care providers in six different practices to obtain provider demographics, knowledge, confidence, and needs regarding various aspects of adult ADHD care. Providers were trained on the toolkit and used it for 17 weeks while researchers tracked providers’ knowledge, confidence and perceived value of the toolkit, as well as when, how and why they used it. ‘had used.

Loskutova and colleagues reported that the AAFP ADHD Adult Toolkit improved the knowledge of health care providers midway through the study versus baseline in areas related to treatment effects. , adverse events and outcomes (3.6 vs 3; P = .004); existing resources for ADHD (3.3 vs. 2.9; P = .03); and management of ADHD in patients with co-morbidities (3.2 vs 2.7; P = .01).

At the end of the study, use of the toolkit was linked to increased confidence in mental health and life history interview techniques (3.5 vs. 3; P = .03); treatment options for ADHD with coexisting mental health disorders (3.2 vs 2.3; P .001) and treatment options for ADHD with coexisting substance use disorders (3 vs. 2.3; P = .003). Additionally, 87% of healthcare providers said the toolkit met most of their needs related to the diagnosis, treatment and management of ADHD in adults.

Some of the limitations of the study were its short window for implementation and the fact that 63% of providers said they had seen no ADHD patients during the study period, according to the researchers. Yet they concluded that “the online toolkit is an effective strategy for providing vital information to practicing clinicians and their patients”.

“PCPs and their patients will also benefit from additional relevant education and a range of resources readily available at the point of care,” wrote Loskutova and her colleagues.


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