Methylphenidate delivery mechanisms for the treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: heterogeneity in parent preferences

Authors: Lloyd A, Hodgkins P, Dewilde S, Sasané R, Falconer S, Sonuga Barke E.
Published in: Int J of Technol Assess Health Care. 2011 Jul;27(3):215-23


Objectives: Extended-release therapies avoid the need for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to take medication at school. Recently a transdermal delivery system has been developed which can allow symptom control all day long but with greater dosing flexibility. This study explored the parents’ preferences regarding oral and transdermal therapy.

Methods: A nonsystematic and qualitative literature review and in-depth interviews with parents and physicians helped identify salient treatment attributes for a discrete choice experiment. Treatment attributes included mode of administration (tablet or transdermal), speed of onset (30-90 min); duration (lasts until 3-9 pm) and ability to tailor the drug to different needs (no flexibility, limited flexibility, easy to adjust to different days). A convenience sample of parents of children treated for ADHD (n = 200) were recruited using a recruitment agency. Data were analyzed using generalized estimating equations (GEE).

Results: Parents’ preferred once-a-day oral therapy (odds ratio [OR] = 1.76 [95 percent confidence interval {CI}, 1.43 – 2.18]); rapid speed of onset (OR = 1.22 [95 percent CI, 1.07 – 1.39]), and symptom control until 9 pm (OR = 3.79 [95 percent CI, 2.98 – 4.82]). Analyses identified that 30 percent of parents preferred transdermal treatment and this subgroup preferred treatments with a fast onset of action.

Conclusions: This survey demonstrates that parents of ADHD children have different preferences for the ADHD treatments prescribed for their children. A distinct subgroup of parents prefer the transdermal therapy. These parents were less likely to be working and so monitoring compliance and doing after school activities may have been easier.

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