• Article

Communication about ADHD and its treatment during pediatric asthma visits

The objectives of the study were to examine provider-family communication about attention deficit disorder during pediatric asthma visits. Children with asthma, aged 8 through 16 and their parents were recruited at five pediatric practices. All medical visits were audio-taped. There were 296 asthmatic children enrolled into the study and 67 of them also had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD communication elements suggested by national guidelines were discussed infrequently. Providers were more likely to discuss, educate, and ask one or more questions about ADHD medications if the visit was non-asthma related. Providers included child input into the ADHD treatment regimen during 3% of visits and they included parent input during 4.5% of visits. Only one child and three parents asked questions about ADHD. Providers may neglect essential aspects of good ADHD management and communication in children who have ADHD plus another chronic condition such as asthma. Providers should set appropriate treatment expectations, establish target symptoms, and encourage children and parents to ask questions so mutual decision-making can occur.


Slota, C. A., Sleath, B., Sulzer, S. H., Carpenter, D. M., Gillette, C., Sayner, R., ... Sandler, A. (2014). Communication about ADHD and its treatment during pediatric asthma visits. Community Mental Health Journal, 50(2), 185-192.