Geographic Variation in Receipt of Psychotherapy in Children Receiving Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications

Published in: JAMA Pediatrics, v. 168, no. 11, Nov. 2014, p. 1074-1076

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2014

by Walid F. Gellad, Bradley D. Stein, Teague Ruder, Rochelle Henderson, Sharon G. Frazee, Ateev Mehrotra, Julie M. Donohue

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Research Questions

  1. How many children receiving medication for ADHD also receive some kind of talk therapy?
  2. How does the supply of licensed psychologists vary across counties?

In the more than 1500 counties studied, fewer than 25% of children prescribed ADHD drugs received talk therapy in the same year they received medication. The percentage of children who received both drugs and therapy varied across counties and did not always reflect the number of available psychologists.

Key Findings

  • In the more than 1500 counties studied, fewer than 25% of children prescribed ADHD drugs received any talk therapy in the same year they received medication.
  • The percentage of children who receive both drugs and therapy varies across counties and does not always reflect the number of available psychologists.

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