Therapy for Clients with ADHD
Tyler, a 9-year-old third grader, had always been an energetic child with a short attention span. For years, his mother attributed his behaviors to him being “all boy” and assumed it would improve as he grew older. Instead, daily tasks like chores and homework became increasingly overwhelming for Tyler, resulting in disruptive behaviors at home and school. After being evaluated by his healthcare provider, Tyler was diagnosed with and treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a prevalent disorder for clients across the lifespan, as more than 6 million children (CDC, 2016) and 8 million adults (ADAA, 2016) have been diagnosed with the disorder. Like Tyler, individuals of all ages find that symptoms of ADHD can make life challenging. However, when properly diagnosed and treated, clients often respond well to therapies and have positive health outcomes.
This week, as you study ADHD therapies, you examine the assessment and treatment of clients with ADHD. You also explore ethical and legal implications of these therapies.
Photo Credit: [kristian sekulic]/[E+]/Getty Images
Discussion: Presentations of ADHD
Although ADHD is often associated with children, this disorder is diagnosed in clients across the lifespan. While many individuals are properly diagnosed and treated during childhood, some individuals who have ADHD only present with subsyndromal evidence of the disorder. These individuals are often undiagnosed until they reach adulthood and struggle to cope with competing demands of running a household, caring for children, and maintaining employment. For this Discussion, you consider how you might assess and treat individuals presenting with ADHD.
· Assess client factors and history to develop personalized therapy plans for clients with ADHD
· Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in clients requiring therapy for ADHD
· Evaluate efficacy of treatment plans
· Apply knowledge of providing care to adult and geriatric clients presenting for antidepressant therapy
To prepare for this Discussion:
· Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide.
· Take the pretest for the case study.
· Review the patient intake documentation, psychiatric history, patient file, medication history, etc. As you progress through each section, formulate a list of questions that you might ask the patient if he or she were in your office.
· Based on the patient’s case history, consider other people in his or her life that you would need to speak to or get feedback from (i.e., family members, teachers, nursing home aides, etc.).
· Consider whether any additional physical exams or diagnostic testing may be necessary for the patient.
· Develop a differential diagnoses for the patient. Refer to the DSM-5 in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance.
· Review the patient’s past and current medications. Refer to Stahl’s Prescriber’s Guide and consider medications you might select for this patient.
· Review the posttest for the case study.
By Day 3
Post a response to the following:
Provide the case number in the subject line of the Discussion.
List three questions you might ask the patient if he or she were in your office. Provide a rationale for why you might ask these questions.
Identify people in the patient’s life you would need to speak to or get feedback from to further assess the patient’s situation. Include specific questions you might ask these people and why.
Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate for the patient and how the results would be used.
List three differential diagnoses for the patient. Identify the one that you think is most likely and explain why.
List two pharmacologic agents and their dosing that would be appropriate for the patient’s ADHD therapy based on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. From a mechanism of action perspective, provide a rationale for why you might choose one agent over the other.
If your assigned case includes “check points” (i.e., follow-up data at week 4, 8, 12, etc.), indicate any therapeutic changes that you might make based on the data provided.
Explain “lessons learned” from this case study, including how you might apply this case to your own practice when providing care to patients with similar clinical presentations.
Note: All Stahl resources can be accessed through the Walden Library using this link. This link will take you to a log-in page for the Walden Library. Once you log into the library, the Stahl website will appear.
Clancy, C.M., Change, S., Slutsky, J., & Fox, S. (2011). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Effectiveness of treatment in at-risk preschoolers; long-term effectiveness in all ages; and variability in prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. Table B. KQ2: Long-term(>1 year) effectiveness of interventions for ADHD in people 6 years and older.
Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
To access the following chapters, click on the Essential Psychopharmacology, 4th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate chapter. Be sure to read all sections on the left navigation bar for each chapter.
· Chapter 12, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Its Treatment”
Stahl, S. M., & Mignon, L. (2012). Stahl’s illustrated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
To access the following chapter, click on the Illustrated Guides tab and then the ADHD tab.
· Chapter 4, “ADHD Treatments”
Stahl, S. M. (2014b). The prescriber’s guide (5th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
To access information on the following medications, click on The Prescriber’s Guide, 5th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate medication.
Review the following medications:
· amphetamine (d)
· amphetamine (d,l)
· methylphenidate (d)
· methylphenidate (d,l)
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases.
Hodgkins, P., Shaw, M., McCarthy, S., & Sallee, F. R. (2012). The pharmacology and clinical outcomes of amphetamines to treat ADHD: Does composition matter? CNS Drugs, 26(3), 245–268. doi:10.2165/11599630-000000000-00000
Psychiatric Times. (2016). A 5-question quiz on ADHD. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/adhd/5-question-quiz-adhd?GUID=AA46068B-C6FF-4020-8933-087041A0B140&rememberme=1&ts=22072016
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