The Draft Australian Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 2009 (the Draft Guidelines) were developed by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. The Draft Guidelines aim to provide health professionals with a guide to assessment, management and care of preschoolers, children, adolescents and adults with ADHD.
The Draft Guidelines have been available on the NHMRC’s website since late 2009 pending the outcomes of conflict of interest investigations against three Harvard Medical School researchers whose work is heavily cited throughout the Draft Guidelines.
In July 2011 Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital sanctioned Professor Biederman and Drs. Spencer and Wilens for failing to report their industry sponsored activities and subsequently violating their organisations’ conflict of interest policies. This announcement did not reveal the extent to which the conflicts impacted on the integrity of their research.
Despite repeated inquiries to Harvard Medical School, the Council of NHMRC has not been able to determine whether these undisclosed sponsorships affected the findings underpinning the Draft Guidelines. Hence, the Council of NHMRC has not recommended the Draft Guidelines for approval.
NHMRC has released Clinical Practice Points on the Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of ADHD in Children and Adolescents (the CPPs). Clinical Practice Points are a resource that outlines good clinical practice based on the consensus of an expert working group. These CPPs do not replace the draft Guidelines as they have a narrower focus and do not cover the management of adults with ADHD. Instead they aim to provide clarity to clinicians on one of the most controversial areas in ADHD - the use of medication, in particular stimulants, in managing children and adolescents with ADHD symptoms. The CPPs were developed while the above conflict of interest allegation was being investigated by Harvard University.
The Draft Guidelines will continue to be available on NHMRC website for a limited time only.
Related Background Information
- Media Release: Focussing on the needs of the child in managing ADHD (14 September 2012)
- Media release: Draft ADHD Guidelines released (30 Nov 09)
Download the publication
Additional information on the management of ADHD
In order to assist health practitioners and the public with information on ADHD, we have established these pages containing useful information and links from a number of respected national and international bodies.
For health care professionals
Information on the safety and efficacy of prescription medicines for ADHD.
Information on the diagnosis, assessment and management of children, young people and adults with ADHD.
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents
- UK NHS National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Diagnosis and management of ADHD in children, young people and adults (Clinical guidelines, CG72)
- Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, Management of attention deficit and hyperkinetic disorders in children and young people. A national clinical guideline
If you have ADHD, or are a family member or friend seeking individual advice, please refer to your general practitioner or specialist. Support groups may offer assistance for some people and information regarding the use of particular medications is available via the links below.
This tool helps consumers find all available consumer medicines information about prescription and pharmacist-only medicines. The information is presented in a leaflet and includes a description of the product and headings such as how to take your medicines and side effects.
Medicines talk is a free quarterly newsletter written for consumers by consumers. It provides reliable and accurate information and useful hints for managing medicines.
Medicines update is designed to inform consumers about new medicines and new PBS listings. Each issue provides an independent assessment of current information and research about a different medicine.