The attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication-related attitudes of patients and their parents

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2008 Oct;18(5):461-73. doi: 10.1089/cap.2008.023.


Patient perspectives represent an increasingly important focus in clinical trials of medical treatments for pediatric mental health conditions. This paper describes the development and initial testing of a short, easy to complete, condition specific, measure of patients' and their parents' attitudes regarding drugs used for the treatment of their attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)--the Southampton ADHD Medication Behaviour and Attitudes scale. On the basis of an initial qualitative study and pilot data, subscales were constructed for both the child and parent versions covering perceived costs and benefits of treatment, patient stigma, and resistance to treatment. The parent version had additional subscales for parental stigma, treatment inconsistency, and flexibility. Factor and reliability analysis of data from 356 parents and 123 of their children supported the distinction between these subscale domains. Children were aged between 5 and 18 years (mean age 10.95 years). Parent and child scores were correlated, although as in previous research parents rated ADHD medications as having more benefits and children rated them as having more costs. The Southampton ADHD Medication Behaviour and Attitudes scale represents a useful addition to the growing portfolio of patient-reported outcomes for ADHD treatments. Future research should focus on the scales value in predicting treatment adherence as it impacts on medication effectiveness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stereotyping
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult