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Study analyzes how parents of children with ADHD get online information about the condition

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 5% of the children in the United States, making it one of the most prevalent mental health disorders in the pediatric population. A group of researchers from the UNC Sheps Center for Health Services Research published an analysis of online information-seeking behaviors of parents of children with ADHD in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

The study found that parents’ most common questions about ADHD to their pediatricians are related to medications and long-term implications of ADHD. A majority of parents searched the Internet for general ADHD information, and White parents accessed the information from home computers, mobile phones and tablets more frequently than non-White parents, who used public libraries more. The authors concluded that given the ¬†significant associations found between type of Internet access and race, disparities in parent knowledge could be partially explained by limited access to information outside of the pediatrician’s office. They suggested that providers should be cognizant of such possible disparities and work to alleviate both lack of information as well as misinformation about ADHD and ADHD medications.

The authors included a collaborative team from UNC, Xavier University and private practice, including Adam Sage, MA, from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH, Robyn Sayner, PharmD, Kathleen Thomas, PhD and Betsy Sleath, PhD from other UNC departments, Larry Mann, MD from Jeffers, Mann & Artman Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in Raleigh, NC, Sandy Sulzer, PhD from Xavier University and Adrian Sandler, MD, from Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville, NC.

The full article is available as a PDF file here:  2017_Online Information-Seeking Behaviors of Parents of Children With ADHD