To provide primary care clinicians with an approach to the diagnosis and management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by reviewing and summarizing the relevant practice guidelines and recent evidence from the literature.
Published guidelines on the management of ADHD were reviewed. A PubMed search was conducted with the MeSH terms and . Results were limited to articles published in English within the past 15 years.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a common neurodevelopmental disorder. Guidelines agree that diagnosis and management of ADHD is appropriate within primary care. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed by applying the criteria defined within the 5th edition, and is supplemented by validated rating scales. Behavioural management is first-line management in all patients, and stimulant medications are first-line management in patients 6 years of age and older. The Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance provides free resources to help clinicians care for patients with ADHD.
Most patients with ADHD can be managed by family physicians. It is a chronic condition that requires ongoing follow-up. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that is complicated by comorbidities might require referral to a specialist.
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