Psychiatric Annals

CME Article 

Complementary and Alternative Biomedical Treatments for ADHD

Elizabeth Hurt, PhD; Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD; L. Eugene Arnold, MD, MEd

Abstract

Although many research studies are conducted to evaluate treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder each year, only two treatments — FDA-approved medication and behavior therapy, often used in combination — are considered "evidence-based treatments" for children/adolescents with ADHD. Medication management, perhaps in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy, is often considered first-line treatment for adults with ADHD.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Elizabeth Hurt, PhD, Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD, L. Eugene Arnold, MD, MEd, are with the Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University Medical School, Columbus, OH.

Address correspondence to: Elizabeth Hurt, PhD, Ohio State University Medical Center, Nisonger Center, 1581 Dodd Drive¸ Room 291C, Columbus, OH 43210; fax: 614-292-7247; e-mail: elizabeth.hurt@osumc.edu.

Dr. Hurt; and Dr. Lofthouse have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Arnold has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Noven: Consultant; and Contracted Research: CureMark; Eli Lilly; and Shire.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Review biomedical complementary and alternative treatments (CAM) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  2. Describe CAM treatments by strength of evidence and relevance to subsets of patients with ADHD.
  3. Discuss a clinical guideline for practitioners to utilize with their patients who are interested in CAM treatments: the safe, easy, cheap, and sensible (SECS) rule compared with the risky, unrealistic, difficult, or expensive (RUDE) rule.

Abstract

Although many research studies are conducted to evaluate treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder each year, only two treatments — FDA-approved medication and behavior therapy, often used in combination — are considered "evidence-based treatments" for children/adolescents with ADHD. Medication management, perhaps in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy, is often considered first-line treatment for adults with ADHD.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Elizabeth Hurt, PhD, Nicholas Lofthouse, PhD, L. Eugene Arnold, MD, MEd, are with the Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University Medical School, Columbus, OH.

Address correspondence to: Elizabeth Hurt, PhD, Ohio State University Medical Center, Nisonger Center, 1581 Dodd Drive¸ Room 291C, Columbus, OH 43210; fax: 614-292-7247; e-mail: elizabeth.hurt@osumc.edu.

Dr. Hurt; and Dr. Lofthouse have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr. Arnold has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Noven: Consultant; and Contracted Research: CureMark; Eli Lilly; and Shire.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Review biomedical complementary and alternative treatments (CAM) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  2. Describe CAM treatments by strength of evidence and relevance to subsets of patients with ADHD.
  3. Discuss a clinical guideline for practitioners to utilize with their patients who are interested in CAM treatments: the safe, easy, cheap, and sensible (SECS) rule compared with the risky, unrealistic, difficult, or expensive (RUDE) rule.

10.3928/00485713-20101221-06

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