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Persistence and Adherence to Psychostimulants, and Psychological Well-Being Up to 3 Years After Specialized Treatment of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Naturalistic Follow-Up Study.

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Published:1st Dec 2017
Author: Bijlenga D, Kulcu S, van Gellecum T, Eryigit Z, Kooij JJS.
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Ref.:J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2017;37(6):689-696.

Background: Little is known about the long-term persistence and adherence of psychostimulant use in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its relationship to their psychological well-being.

Methods: The persistence and adherence to psychostimulants and psychological well-being were examined in adults with ADHD in a naturalistic follow-up, starting directly after discharge from their specialized treatment of ADHD at an outpatient ADHD clinic. Ninety-six patients were included at the time of discharge, who were interviewed by telephone at 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years after discharge.

Results: At the time of discharge, 78% used a psychostimulant prescribed by a psychiatrist. Of those on psychostimulants at the time of discharge, approximately half still used any of these psychostimulants 3 years after discharge. However, adherence rates were good for those who persisted to use psychostimulants. The female sex and middle educational level (relative to a higher educational level) were near-significantly related to nonpersistence, and having a higher educational level and the combined ADHD subtype were related to nonadherence. In turn, nonadherence was related to worse general functioning, lower mood, and poorer sleep quality.

Conclusions: The importance of adherence should be discussed at the time of discharge, especially with female ADHD patients, those with a higher educational level, and those with a combined ADHD subtype, because nonadherence is associated with poorer outcomes.

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