A study revealed that out of the children in the US who have been prescribed medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), only less than a quarter receive the adequate behavioral therapy.
The findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics examined records of more than 300,000 children from 1,516 counties across the United States who had received an ADHD prescription.
"Less than a quarter of those prescribed ADHD drugs received any talk therapy in the same year they received medication," said the study by doctors at the nonprofit research organization RAND.
"And in 200 US counties, fewer than one in 10 children getting ADHD medication received any talk therapy."
Treatments varied widely by geographic area, with about half of ADHD youths in Sacramento County, California receiving behavioral therapy in addition to their meds but only 20 percent doing so in Miami-Dade County, Florida -- even though each county had about the same number of licensed psychologists.
ADHD is diagnosed in about 11 percent of US boys and four percent of US girls, making it one of the most common disorders of childhood, according to the article.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends behavioral therapy for preschool children with ADHD, and "preferably both" medication and therapy for older children and adolescents.
"In areas of the country where rates of use are so low, it indicates that many kids with private insurance who could benefit from therapy are not receiving it," said lead author Walid Gellad, an adjunct scientist at RAND.