Aims Teenagers with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) often present with significant comorbidity and engaging them is a difficult task. There is an unmet need to shape a teen-friendly service. We sought to:
1. Ascertain teenagers’ views about our ADHD service.
2. Quantify their knowledge of ADHD.
3. Use these results to develop a patient-centred teen-friendly service
Methods A 20-question web survey was designed using the ‘SurveyMonkey’ website, for adolescent ADHD patients aged 12 to 18 years. The questions included preference for clinic duration and slots, understanding of ADHD, whether they were involved in decision making and their views on improving the service. After obtaining consent from both parents or carers and adolescents, the survey was conducted by web link via text message or email. Surveys were also completed in clinic using a computer or paper-based questionnaire.
Results 40 adolescent patients with ADHD (30 boys and 10 girls) completed the survey. 42.5% (n=17) indicated preference for a morning clinic and 60% (n=24) did not wish to attend during school holidays. 55% (n=22) of teenagers were unwilling to see the doctor on their own, while 15% (n=6) felt rushed and wanted a longer follow-up appointment. A majority, 57.5% (n=23) were happy to discuss lifestyle issues including smoking and alcohol. 50% (n=20) of respondents felt they suffered from sleep deprivation and 22.5% (n=9) admitted missing their medication occasionally or often. Pleasantly, 85% (n=34) of teenagers were satisfied they were listened to and 95% (n=38) confirmed that they were involved in decisions about their care. Unfortunately, only 20% (n=8) of teenagers reported having good knowledge about ADHD. 32.5% (n=13) were not aware of different treatment options, while 20% (n=8) lacked knowledge of medication side effects. Less than half, 47.5% (n=19) were provided with written information about their medical condition.
Conclusions Following adolescent patients’ feedback about our service, we have identified significant gaps in their knowledge of ADHD, as well as evidence of poor compliance with medications. We have used these results to design and pilot teen-friendly clinics to address these issues and will continue to ensure we engage and empower teenagers to make them partners in managing their ADHD.
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