Parent medication concerns predict underutilization of mental health services for minority children with ADHD.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Disparities in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment are recognized with minority children using services less than nonminority children. The authors examine minority parents' knowledge and perceptions of ADHD as they relate to service utilization. METHODS. Using a longitudinal cohort design, parents of children with untreated ADHD were surveyed regarding their knowledge and perceptions of ADHD and then followed for 3 to 6 months to determine whether they used services. RESULTS. Seventy parents of 5- to 18-year-old children with untreated ADHD were enrolled. Of the 70 children, 33 (47.1%) had not attended any mental health appointments and 51 (72.9%) had not used any treatments by 3- to 6-month follow-up. Logistic regression indicated that increasing age and medication concerns were associated with less follow-up at mental health appointments (P < .05) and less utilization of treatments (P < .05). CONCLUSIONS. The results of this study highlight the importance of addressing medication concerns, when referring minority children to mental health services or offering treatments.

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