NEW SURVEY SHEDS LIGHT ON MOMS’ PERSPECTIVES ABOUT ADHD MEDICATIONS
Moms of Children Taking ADHD Prescription Medication Feel Like They Are Doing the Right
Thing, Yet Challenges and Knowledge Gaps Remain
A new online survey of moms of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
conducted by Mom Central Consulting and Noven Therapeutics, LLC reveals that, while nearly
all (93 percent) moms of children treated with prescription medication feel like they are doing
the right thing, challenges managing ADHD symptoms and knowledge gaps related to treatment
The survey, titled “Kids and ADHD: Assessing Where Moms Stand on
Treatment,” was conducted in August 2012 among 1,011 moms of children ages 6 to 17
diagnosed with ADHD and treated with rescription medication.
Approximately nine out of ten surveyed moms report observing several positive results since
their child began treatment on any of a variety of stimulant and non-stimulant ADHD
prescription medications. Despite improvements, more than half (51 percent) of moms said they
had experienced challenges adjusting their child’s treatment schedule between school days,
weekend days and holidays. The survey found that most moms would value a long-acting
medication option that lasts throughout the school day (81 percent), as well as the ability to
manage treatment-related side effects that occur late in the day, such as decreased appetite and
difficulty sleeping associated with stimulant medications (55 percent). However, less than one-
third of moms (31 percent) surveyed say they are aware of an alternative treatment option that
may address these particular concerns.
“What is encouraging about these survey findings is that moms of children with ADHD feel
empowered to manage their child’s ADHD treatment and are finding successes in doing so,” said
Patricia Quinn, M.D., a developmental pediatrician, former clinical assistant professor of
pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center and mother who has children with ADHD. “However, the survey indicates that education gaps exist with respect to ADHD medications,
including knowledge of one treatment option that might help meet the needs of certain patients.”
Gaps in Knowledge
The survey found that while moms have done their homework – 96 percent say they feel
knowledgeable now about ADHD – almost half (47 percent) say that at times they had not felt
fully informed about all available treatment options and seek insight from their child’s healthcare
provider for information. After being briefly educated about the potential benefits of a
medication patch treatment option, 85 percent of moms say they would be interested in learning
more and would be likely to ask their child’s doctor about a medication patch, presumably for a
full discussion of benefits and risks.
“This survey points to the vital role of healthcare providers to educate parents and caregivers
about the range of treatment options available in order to best determine a tailored plan that may
include behavioral management and ADHD medication,” said Dr. Quinn.
Attitudes About ADHD Medication Treatment
While most moms feel empowered (78 percent) since their child began treatment with
any of a variety of stimulant or non-stimulant ADHD prescription medications, some
moms surveyed are still uncertain about using medication (59 percent) and are worried
about long-term medication effects (85 percent).
Many moms say that they have engaged in some negotiation with their child to take his or
her medication (41 percent), which mostly happens in the morning (83 percent), making
before-school routines difficult. Moreover, of these moms who have had to negotiate,
more than half (52 percent) say one reason is that their child does not like swallowing a
pill/capsule. However, this may be only one factor when choosing between alternative
One-third of moms (32 percent) say they would value the ability to shorten the effect of a
long-acting medication as needed due to changes in their child’s day-to-day schedule.
About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Approximately 5.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, one of the most common
childhood disorders. Symptoms can include difficulty staying focused, paying attention and
controlling behavior. While many children may demonstrate characteristics of ADHD, for those
diagnosed, the symptoms tend to happen more often and can become more severe over time,
interfering with learning. There is no one way to treat a child with ADHD. However, children
who have a treatment plan with both behavioral treatment and ADHD medications often do the
best. Prescription medications for ADHD include stimulants (methylphenidates or
amphetamines) and non-stimulants. Data on long-term effects of ADHD medication use is
limited. Drug treatment may not be indicated for all patients with this syndrome.
About the Survey
The “Kids and ADHD: Assessing Where Moms Stand on Treatment Survey” was commissioned
by Noven Therapeutics, LLC to better understand how moms of children diagnosed with ADHD
manage ADHD symptoms and treatment with their child’s doctor. The nine-question survey was
conducted online from August 14 to August 23, 2012, programmed and analyzed by Mom
Central Consulting. All respondents belong to the Mom Central Testing Panel, consisting of a
nationwide pool of moms spanning relevant demographics, such as household income,
education, age, number and age of children.
Online questions generally asked participants to choose from lists of selected issues that might
have applied to their child at some time. The survey also asked participants whether they
strongly agreed, somewhat agreed, somewhat disagreed, or strongly disagreed with various
statements about their and their child’s experiences with ADHD and ADHD treatments.
Responses could be added such as “Strongly agree” and “Somewhat agree.” Depending upon
their answers, up to five follow-up questions could be added. All survey respondents had at least
one child in the household between the ages of 6 and 17 years of age who has been diagnosed
with ADHD and is treated with prescription medication.
Dr. Patricia Quinn serves as a paid consultant to Noven Therapeutics, LLC for her involvement
with this initiative.