Study Finds Kids With ADHD Have Questions For Doctors But Don’t Ask

Study Finds Kids with ADHD Have Questions for Doctors But Don’t Ask

A recent study suggests that children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, are eager to learn more about their condition as well as their medications- but often may not ask for the information.

According to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, although children would like to ask more questions while at their physician’s office, often times they do not. The study could perhaps be beneficial to parents and doctors who wish to help children manage their ADHD more effectively.

“We have found that there has been very little research into how providers, parents and youth communicate about ADHD and ADHD medications,” said Betsy Sleath, the lead author of the study and the George H. Cocolas Distinguished Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “What we do know is that kids often aren’t part of the conversation when their parents and doctors are talking ADHD. We wanted to know how the kids felt about that.”

Sleath’s team reviewed 48 boys and 22 girls with ages ranging from 7 to 17 years, who had been recruited from two private pediatric practices in North Carolina, where they had been diagnosed with and prescribed medicine for ADHD. The study observed how children diagnosed with ADHD perceive communication with their pediatric care providers, if in fact they take their ADHD medications properly, and where they would prefer to learn more about their condition.

Among a slew of questions, the children were asked if they wished that their doctor would speak to them more about their ADHD, why talking to their doctor about ADHD is so difficult, and what would help make it easier to talk to their doctor about ADHD.

Most of the children were enthusiastic to learn more about ADHD in the comfort of their physician’s office. The study reported that one-third of the children did in fact wish that their physician would speak more freely with them about ADHD during their visits.

Sleath, who also chairs the School’s Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, stated that “these results highlight the fact that children with ADHD want their physician to focus more on them during doctor visits… Health-care providers should take advantage of this interest to engage youth more in discussions regarding ADHD and its treatment.”

Sleath believes that physicians should work hard to ensure that children feel more at ease talking about ADHD, and that they should also make it a priority to ask the children what questions they may have regarding their condition.

“By asking children questions and letting them talk more during visits, both the provider and parent might learn more about the youth’s perspective on ADHD and what they would like to learn about their condition. Improving provider-youth communication about ADHD and ADHD medications could increase medication adherence and improve outcomes.”



This article is based on one published by, which can be viewed here.


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Megan Baksh received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Nova Southeastern University in May of 2016, and is currently pursuing an education in the field of psychology.