Zima BT, Bussing R, Tang L, Zhang L
Pediatrics 2013 Mar;131 Suppl 1:S50-9
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether parent perceptions about care (barriers, disorder knowledge, treatment willingness) vary among children who drop out of or stay in publicly funded care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and to explore whether parent perceptions are predictive of staying in care over time.
METHODS: A longitudinal cohort study of 529 children ages 5 to 11 years receiving care for ADHD in primary care or specialty mental health clinics in a large, countrywide, managed-care Medicaid program. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed to identify parent perceptions associated with the likelihood of staying in care across three 6-month time intervals, controlling for child and parent demographic characteristics, parental distress, clinical need, and recent special education use.
RESULTS: At least three-fourths of children had at least 1 contact for any mental health care during a 6-month time interval (75%, 85%, 76%). Parent-perceived barriers, ADHD knowledge, and counseling willingness did not predict staying in care, whereas willingness for medication treatment was predictive at baseline. Minority status, nonmarried parent, parental distress, clinical need, and special education use were predictive of staying in care, but mostly during only one 6-month time interval, and their influence varied over time.
CONCLUSIONS: Parent willingness for medication treatment along with several demographic and need factors predicted staying in care but not consistently over time. Future research is needed to develop practical tools for clinicians to elicit parent priorities about ADHD treatment and to integrate them into quality-improvement interventions targeted to improving shared decision-making for longer term ADHD care.