Clinical Practice Points on the Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of ADHD in Children and Adolescents discusses the use of medications, psychological and educational strategies as other management options for some children/adolescents.

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Clinical Practice Points are a resource that outlines good clinical practice based on the consensus of an expert working group.

The Clinical Practice Points on the Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of ADHD in Children and Adolescents (the CPPs) 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 also discuss psychological and educational strategies as other management options for some children/adolescents.

The CPPs will be most useful for GPs, paediatricians (including paediatric neurologists), child/adolescent psychiatrists, clinical and neuro-psychologists, allied health professionals and special educators who are working with children and adolescents with ADHD.

The CPPs cover assessment, diagnosis and management in children/adolescents.  They stress the importance of looking for alternative explanations for the child’s behaviour, and encourage clinicians to involve parents/carers and teachers in the assessment, management and review of each child/adolescent.

Note: The Royal Australasian College of Physicians developed Draft Australian Guidelines on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (the Draft Guidelines) in 2009. 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 were considered but not approved by the Council of NHMRC on 2 December 2011, but are accessible on RACP’s website. During November 2009 to 19 December 2013, the Draft Guidelines were available on the NHMRC website.

Expert Working Group on ADHD Clinical Practice Points: Declarations of Interest information

NHMRC asked each expert working group member to document their interests and involvement (financial and non-financial) in activities regarding ADHD and child developmental issues. The members were also asked to consider perceived conflict of interest as well as real interests.

As per NHMRC committee meeting processes, the expert working group at its first meeting reviewed and discussed their declared conflicts and agreed on how it would adjudicate its conflict and how the conflicts would be managed. The Chair then discussed these processes with the NHMRC CEO. No members were excluded in this process.

The working group members were specifically asked to identify, to the best of their ability, potential or real conflicts of interest regarding:

  • Participation in the development or endorsement of any of the guidelines and/or educational materials relating to ADHD
  • Support for pharmaceutical companies or other corporations whose products or services are related to the treatment, management or diagnosis of ADHD. This is inclusive of participation in/attendance at sponsored events
  • Financial interests or relationships including honoraria, research funding, consultancies, employment, or ownership.

The NHMRC reviewed the conflict of interest information throughout the working group’s project to ensure that changes for members over time did not represent conflicts or potential conflicts.

Further information on members of the Expert Working Group that developed the CPPs is available in Appendix A of the Clinical Practice Points - Appendices document below.

Public Consultation

Public consultation on the CPPs was conducted between 31 October 2011 and 28 November 2011. It was advertised on the NHMRC website and in The Australian newspaper. A full list of submissions is available here.

A media release: Focussing on the needs of the child in managing ADHD (14 September 2012) is available on the Australia Government Web archive