Caring for adolescents and young adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in primary care: seizing opportunities to address youth mental health needs.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide primary care providers (PCPs) with updated practical guidance around the assessment and management of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adolescents and young adults (AYA). RECENT FINDINGS: Of the three different presentations of ADHD delineated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the Predominantly Inattentive presentation is the most common among AYA. Multiple rating scales exist to assist clinicians in identifying ADHD symptoms and monitoring treatment effects. Importantly, ADHD frequently persists into adulthood with negative impacts in many life domains if left untreated. It is important for PCPs to provide support for AYA as they transition to adulthood, as treatment adherence often drops sharply at that time, and, once treatment is discontinued, it is rarely restarted. Further, clinicians should be aware of the negative psychological, behavioral, and social impacts that COVID-19 has had on AYA with ADHD. SUMMARY: AYA with ADHD often seek care first from PCPs. However, diagnosis and management of ADHD among AYA are challenging, and many clinicians feel ill-equipped, creating concern that many youth may go undiagnosed and untreated. Despite these long-standing challenges, recent advances have opened up critical opportunities for PCPs to proactively address ADHD in primary care settings and make a profound impact on youth as they seek to realize their full potential.
Driscoll, H; Kimberg, AD; Chung, RJ
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