A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that in 2015, 75 percent of children aged two to five years with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) were receiving medication-based treatment, and only 50 percent received some form of behavioral therapy. This was true regardless of insurance type; that is, it was equally true for children covered by Medicaid as it was for children on private insurance.
The study raises concerns on many levels.
The data on treating older children are fairly clear regarding the benefits and risks of medication treatment for ADHD. The landmark trial showed better outcomes in those treated with medication and behavioral therapy as opposed to behavioral therapy alone, and side effects were infrequent and readily manageable or reversible. Similar high-quality, multi-center, blinded scientific studies in younger children have not been done.
BMJ recently published a re-analysis of a 2001 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), evaluating the use of paroxetine (Paxil) to treat teens with depression. This re-analysis falls under the RIAT (restoring invisible and abandoned trials) initiative that encourages companies and researchers to update findings from past clinical trials.
This news is essentially “much ado about nothing,” because no one was doing anything based upon the 2001 study. But it is worth noting because it was not the best moment for the JAACAP and the authors of the original article. …Read More
Look at the various smartphone app stores, and you’ll find more than 100,000 apps categorized as health apps, including many for mental health. Noting that teens often turn to their phones when they need something, researchers in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry are working on an app aimed at helping reduce teens’ suicide risk.
Called Crisis Care, the app guides teens through various coping strategies, while providing parents instructions for assisting teens and creating a safe, supportive home environment. It also provides quick access to immediate help when needed. The researchers recently piloted the app to positive reviews, and are actively pursuing grants to help turn the idea into a reality.