Candace: Can you tell us about the recent survey that was conducted?
Dr. Patricia Quinn: "Yes, set up a little background- this survey was conducted this July of 2011 and it was cosponsored by ADDitude magazine, the largest consumer magazine for information about ADHD; and the survey really underscored the difficult decision that parents have at deciding to medicate their child. Despite that almost all of the parents (94%) chose to use medication during the school day. Parents were more reluctant to use medication at other times and yet parents told us they had continuing challenges managing their child's behaviors. Over half of the parents told us that homework time was especially difficult and that for other chores and other social events their child's behaviors also were problematic. But of the parents who even did use medication during these other times, 40% of the parents who did use medication at other times also told us they wanted more flexibility and control around medicating their child. So they wanted more options, they wanted some information about some of the options for other treatments for ADHD and other medications available."
Candace: Why do you think that some parents might be against medicating their children at home?
PQ: "Well, they really weren't against medicating their child at home, they had lots of reasons for being reluctant to treat them; sometimes it was that the medication they were using wasn't effective, for 1/3 of the parents it might be side effects, for 1/3 of the parents they thought that school was the most important and they didn't need to deal with these behaviors. I think what I experience is that parents really need information and they are asking for flexibility and they need information, so they can make an informed decision. I always encourage parents that they should be good consumers and good advocates. They should go out there and talk to their child's physician, they should talk to other parents, they should seek out really proven information; safe information from some of these websites like yours where we can gather information and then make an informed decision for treatment options for their child."
Candace: What do parents have in terms of options when it comes to back to school?
PQ: "Well, one of the things that we find is often parents haven't heard about some of these longer acting medications. For example parents have not heard about Daytrana which is the only patch available for treatment of ADHD, and because it's a patch as opposed to a pill it allows some of that flexibility parents are looking for- for example it's approved for a nine hour wear time so you can wear it for nine hours and get 10 hours of effective symptom control during the school days or on weekends when that child has a lot of activities. And because it's a patch, it can be removed. You can also then wear it for varying lengths of time- 4, 5, 6 hours and get different lengths of control depending for example if the child gets up later, has activities that may be for a shorter period of time on the weekends. It gives them some flexibility and parents need to have this information. They need to go to some of the websites and get this information and talk to their physician about some of the treatment options."
Candace: Do you have any additional information you'd like to share?
PQ: "I think parents need to consistently treat and in order to make that decision they need the information. ADDitude magazine- their website ADDitudemag.com has a lot of information about ADHD in general and the total treatment; Daytrana.com – that website has information about the patch I talked about. I also recommend that parents make sure that they are on the same page in treating the disorder and know that the symptoms persist all the time, so they need to talk to their physician; they need to get the information and they need to make an informed decision and that way they can ensure their child will have a successful school year, not just in school but at home as well as with friends and during social and athletic activities."