This study explores barriers to seeking help for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Taiwan.
The caregivers (mainly mothers) of 104 children with ADHD were evaluated on an outpatient basis. The mean age of the ADHD children was 9.47 ± 1.97 years. Sociodemographic data and barriers related to seeking help were collected, including age, sex, multiple medical care seeking and parents' attitude toward the use of stimulants. The intensity of the barriers to seeking help was compared between good and/or poor compliance groups.
Those who took methylphenidate (MPH) regularly are less likely engage in multiple medical care seeking (P < 0.05) and are more likely to choose to seek help from a child psychiatrist as a first response to symptoms (P < 0.05). Boys with ADHD favored medical MPH treatment when seeking help. ADHD children of mothers with a higher education were more likely to refuse psychiatric treatment in the initial stage and seek alternative treatment such as sensory integration training.
There is a need to clarify how the misdiagnosis of ADHD as sensory integration dysfunction may impede seeking effective mental health care. Policy makers should enhance the understanding of parents with children with ADHD to increase treatment effectiveness and adherence.