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NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD

Tyler, a 9-year-old third grader, had always been an energetic child with a short attention span. For years, his mother attributed his behaviors to him being “all boy” and assumed it would improve as he grew older. Instead, daily tasks like chores and homework became increasingly overwhelming for Tyler, resulting in disruptive behaviors at home and school. After being evaluated by his healthcare provider, Tyler was diagnosed with and treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is a prevalent disorder for clients across the lifespan, as more than 6 million children (CDC, 2016) and 8 million adults (ADAA, 2016) have been diagnosed with the disorder. Like Tyler, individuals of all ages find that symptoms of ADHD can make life challenging. However, when properly diagnosed and treated, clients often respond well to therapies and have positive health outcomes. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

This week, as you study ADHD therapies, you examine the assessment and treatment of clients with ADHD. You also explore ethical and legal implications of these therapies.

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Discussion: Presentations of ADHD

Although ADHD is often associated with children, this disorder is diagnosed in clients across the lifespan. While many individuals are properly diagnosed and treated during childhood, some individuals who have ADHD only present with subsyndromal evidence of the disorder. These individuals are often undiagnosed until they reach adulthood and struggle to cope with competing demands of running a household, caring for children, and maintaining employment. For this Discussion, you consider how you might assess and treat individuals presenting with ADHD.

Learning Objectives for NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

Students will:

  • Assess client factors and history to develop personalized therapy plans for clients with ADHD
  • Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in clients requiring therapy for ADHD
  • Evaluate efficacy of treatment plans
  • Apply knowledge of providing care to adult and geriatric clients presenting for antidepressant therapy
To prepare for this NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment:
  1. NURS 6630 Course
  2. Week 9 Assignment
  3. Week 9 Case Study

Case 1: Volume 1, Case #13: The 8-year-old girl who was naughty

  1. Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide.
  2. Take the pretest for the case study.
  3. Review the patient intake documentation, psychiatric history, patient file, medication history, etc. As you progress through each section, formulate a list of questions that you might ask the patient if he or she were in your office.
  4. Based on the patient’s case history, consider other people in his or her life that you would need to speak to or get feedback from (i.e., family members, teachers, nursing home aides, etc.).
  5. Consider whether any additional physical exams or diagnostic testing may be necessary for the patient.
  6. Develop a differential diagnoses for the patient. Refer to the DSM-5 in this week’s Learning Resources for guidance.
  7. Review the patient’s past and current medications. Refer to Stahl’s Prescriber’s Guide and consider medications you might select for this patient.
  8. Review the posttest for the case study. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

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By Day 3

Post a response to the following:

  • Provide the case number in the subject line of the Discussion.
  • List three questions you might ask the patient if he or she were in your office. Provide a rationale for why you might ask these questions.
  • Identify people in the patient’s life you would need to speak to or get feedback from to further assess the patient’s situation. Include specific questions you might ask these people and why.
  • Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate for the patient and how the results would be used. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment
  • List three differential diagnoses for the patient. Identify the one that you think is most likely and explain why.
  • List two pharmacologic agents and their dosing that would be appropriate for the patient’s ADHD therapy based on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. From a mechanism of action perspective, provide a rationale for why you might choose one agent over the other.
  • If your assigned case includes “check points” (i.e., follow-up data at week 4, 8, 12, etc.), indicate any therapeutic changes that you might make based on the data provided.
  • Explain “lessons learned” from this case study, including how you might apply this case to your own practice when providing care to patients with similar clinical presentations.

Learning Resources for NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment:

Note: All Stahl resources can be accessed through the Walden Library using this link. This link will take you to a log-in page for the Walden Library. Once you log into the library, the Stahl website will appear.

Clancy, C.M., Change, S., Slutsky, J., & Fox, S. (2011). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Effectiveness of treatment in at-risk preschoolers; long-term effectiveness in all ages; and variability in prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. Table B. KQ2: Long-term(>1 year) effectiveness of interventions for ADHD in people 6 years and older. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Discussion Assignment.

Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

To access the following chapters, click on the Essential Psychopharmacology, 4th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate chapter. Be sure to read all sections on the left navigation bar for each chapter.

  • Chapter 12, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Its Treatment”

Stahl, S. M., & Mignon, L. (2012). Stahl’s illustrated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

To access the following chapter, click on the Illustrated Guides tab and then the ADHD tab. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

  • Chapter 4, “ADHD Treatments”

Stahl, S. M. (2014b). The prescriber’s guide (5th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

To access information on the following medications, click on The Prescriber’s Guide, 5th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate medication.

Review the following medications:

For ADHD

  • armodafinil
  • amphetamine (d)
  • amphetamine (d,l)
  • atomoxetine
  • bupropion
  • chlorpromazine
  • clonidine
  • guanfacine
  • haloperidol
  • lisdexamfetamine
  • methylphenidate (d)
  • methylphenidate (d,l)
  • modafinil
  • reboxetine

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Note: Retrieved from Walden Library databases. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

Optional Resources for NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

PATIENT FILE Case 1: Volume 1, Case #13: The 8-year-old girl who was naughty

The Question: Do girls get ADHD?

The Psychopharm Dilemma: How do you treat ADHD with oppositional symptoms?

Pretest Self Assessment Question (answer at the end of the case)

What is true about oppositional symptoms in patients with ADHD

A. They can be part of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in children B. They can be confused with impulsive symptoms of ADHD C. They can be part of oppositional defi ant disorder (ODD) which can be

comorbid with ADHD D. They can be part of conduct disorder (CD) which can be comorbid with ADHD

Patient Intake

  • 8-year-old girl brought to her pediatrician by her 26-year-old mother
  • Chief complaint: fever and sore throat

Psychiatric History

  • While evaluating the patient for an upper respiratory infection, then pediatrician asks if school is going well
  • The patient responds “yes” but in the background the mother shakes her head “no”
  • The mother states that her daughter is negative and defiant at home and she has similar reports, mostly of disobedience, from her teacher at school
  • The patient has had temper tantrums since age 5 but these have decreased over the past 3 years, especially the past year
  • Still angry and resentful since her little sister was born 6 years ago

Academic problems

Fights with other children, mostly arguments and harsh words with other girls at school. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

Social and Personal History

  • Goes to public school
  • Has a younger sister age 6
  • Does not see her father much, lives in a nearby city
  • Not many friends
  • Spends most of her time with her sister and either her mother or her maternal grandmother who helps with after school supervision and baby sitting Medical History
  • None

Family History

  • None known for medical or psychiatric disorders other than the father who drinks a bit too much and his father (paternal grandfather) who some think might be an alcoholic
  • Mother was adopted and no family history known Pediatrician’s Notes: Initial Evaluation
  • Not enough time to do any more evaluation • Instead, the mother is given the parent and teacher version of the Conners ADHD rating scale and is instructed to bring the completed forms to the followup visit
  • A variety of rating scales are available, some without charge (see http://www.neurotransmitter.net/adhdscales.html).
  • The Connors scale charges a fee but other rating scales available at this link, or listed in the Two-Minute Tute below are free.

Pediatrician’s Notes: Followup Visit Week 3

  • At the followup visit, the mother admits to having been too busy to fill out the parent form
  • Also admits to having forgotten to send the rating form to the teacher
  • Mother acknowledges being more disorganized since her second child started school this year
  • Since then it has also been extremely difficult to keep the patient organized and focused on school
  • The mother is on the verge of tears
  • “Two children are too much for a single mother”
  • The pediatrician offers to send the teacher form to the school and gives the mother tips on how to remember to fill out her own form
  • When the teacher form is sent back to the pediatrician’s office the mother will be contacted for a followup visit.
NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

Pediatrician’s Notes: Followup Visit Week 6

  • At the followup visit, the mother comes alone
  • Teacher’s ADHD rating scale responses state that the patient has signifi cant problems with
    • Talking excessively
    • Sustaining attention
    • Being organized
    • Being distracted
    • Being forgetful
    • Following instructions
    • Making careless errors (except when it comes to her homework)
  • The teacher also complains of the patient being more argumentative and disobedient than the other children in her class
  • The mother’s responses on the ADHD rating scales are similar to the teacher’s but she endorses only five symptoms as significantly impairing
  • Checked “severe” for ability to listen (rated only mild by the teacher)
  • Upon further questioning by the pediatrician, it becomes clear that the mother is compensating for her daughter by – Double checking her homework
    • Making sure homework is in her backpack
    • Helping the patient be organized
  • Eventually, symptoms that were originally determined to be “mild” by the mother are changed to “significantly impairing”
  • Mother confirms that the patient argues a lot with her, especially when the mother is trying to oversee her work, and that the patient still occasionally has temper tantrums similar to when she was five years old, but milder. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

Based on just what you have been told so far about this patient’s history what do you think is her diagnosis?

  • ADHD
  • ODD (oppositional defi ant disorder)
  • CD (conduct disorder)
  • ADHD comorbid with ODD
  • ADHD comorbid with CD
  • A child acting out again her mother’s divorce and against having to share her mother with her sister
  • Other

Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visit, Week 6, Continued

  • The patient is diagnosed with ADHD, mostly inattentive type, comorbid with symptoms of oppositional defi ant disorder – ADHD symptoms include inattention but not hyperactivity – Some of her impulsive symptoms such as being argumentative and disobedient overlap with her ODD symptoms but the ODD symptoms seem to be willful and on purpose rather than truly thoughtlessly impulsive.
  • To be diagnosed with conduct disorder, the patient would need to exhibit symptoms similar to ODD plus have aggression towards animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, and serious violations of rules, symptoms of a type and severity that neither the teacher nor the mother brought up

How would you treat her?

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Parent training
  • d-methylphenidate XR (Focalin) 5 mg once daily in the morning titrated in 5 mg increments each week to optimization. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
  • OROS methylphenidate (Concerta) 18 mg once daily in the morning titrated in 18 mg increments each week to optimization
  • Mixed salts of amphetamine XR (Adderall XR) 10 mg once daily in the morning titrated in 10 mg increments each week to optimization
  • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) 30 mg once daily in the morning titrated in 10–20 mg increments a week to optimization
  • Other

Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visit Week 6, Continued

  • Mother is initially uncomfortable with the diagnosis of ADHD with ODD and is far from ready to accept medication treatment for her daughter.
  • Wants different options
  • Pediatrician suggests cognitive behavioral therapy and parent training
  • Pediatrician also offers to write a letter to the school to implement strategies to help her daughter such as
    • Allowing extra time on tests and assignments
    • Placing child nearest to the teacher
    • Devising signals between teacher and child to redirect child’s attention without embarrassing the child.

Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visit Week 10

  • Mother learns that closest CBT specialist is one-hour drive away from their home so this option falls through
  • Also, while the teacher is happy to implement the strategies suggested by the pediatrician, she admits to already using them with the patient, given her experience with other ADHD students
  • The lack of non-pharmacological treatment options helps the mother reconsider the risks versus the benefi ts of ADHD medications
  • All the options listed as stimulants in the list above, plus some non-stimulants, are approved for the treatment of ADHD and have shown some efficacy for ODD symptoms. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
  • D-methylphenidate XR is chosen

Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visits Weeks 12 and 14

  • The dose of d-methylphenidate is titrated to 20 mg/day with some improvement in classroom behavior according to the teacher
  • However, the patient develops problems with initial insomnia – Sometimes the effects of stimulants later in the day can actually improve sleep, especially in hyperactive individuals who have problems slowing down for bedtime routines
    • Some studies suggest that OROS methylphenidate lasts even longer (up to 12 hours) compared to d-methylphenidate XR, which seems to be more effective in the first 8 hours; thus OROS methylphenidate would be a potential option in such cases
    • However, this is not this patient’s presentation
    • Since this patient did not have problems with sleep prior to starting d-methylphenidate XR, the initial insomnia is likely due to the stimulant
  • Also, even though classroom behavior seems to be improving according to the teacher, the patient remains defiant with the mother, tears up some toys of her younger sister to upset her and screams more than ever at her mother while doing homework, seeming delighted when her mother gets upset and yells back. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
  • The mother is instructed to give the medication another month to see if the improvements in the classroom begin to be seen in the home and is instructed about sleep hygiene including
    • Keeping regular schedules for going to bed and waking up
    • Avoiding the patient’s favorite caffeinated sodas, especially in the late afternoon
    • Providing quiet activities as part of a bedtime routine
    • Having the patient leave her room to do another quiet activity if she does not fall asleep within 30 minutes

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Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visit Week 18

  • The mother herself is often overwhelmed and disorganized and so has a difficult time keeping regular schedules for going to bed and waking up, even during the week but especially on weekends
  • Despite trying the behavioral approach, the initial insomnia remains a problem
  • So does the defiant behavior at home • Also, reports last week that the patient shoved somebody who she said was crowding in line, causing her classmate to cut her knee, requiring stitches/sutures
  • Was not sorry or remorseful

How would you treat her now? 

  • Refer to a psychiatrist for further evaluation and psychopharmacological management
  • Refer to a psychologist for therapy
  • Switch to dl-methylphenidate immediate release (classical Ritalin) 10 mg twice daily, then titrate to optimized dose
  • Switch to the methylphenidate transdermal patch (Daytrana) starting at 10 mg, then titrate to optimized dose
  • Switch to the prodrug lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) starting at 30 mg once in the morning, then titrate to optimized dose
  • Switch to atomoxetine (Strattera) 10–18 mg per day, then titrated to optimized dose
  • Switch to guanfacineXR (Intuniv) 1 mg/day, then titrated to optimized dose
  • Other

Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visit Week 18, Continued • Each treatment option has specific considerations to take into account:

    • In general, the active denantiomer of methylphenidate (which the patient was originally prescribed) may be slightly more than twice as potent as racemic d,l-methylphenidate; so, if side effects persist on d-methylphenidate it may be useful to switch to immediate release d, l methylphenidate which might require a “sculpted dose” with a higher morning than afternoon dose. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
    • The methylphenidate patch needs to have the patient and mother follow instructions and in this patient’s case, may need to remove the patch before the suggested nine-hour wear time is over, if insomnia or other adverse events emerge; the patch should not be cut as a way to lower the dose
    • Lisdexamfetamine should be titrated by increasing the dose in 10–20 mg increments each week; 10–12 hours of clinical action can be expected, so might be less favorable in patients who already have problems with insomnia
    • Atomoxetine can have a longer onset of action but does not cause insomnia
    • Guanfacine/guanfacine XR should start at 1 mg and titrate by 1 mg increments to a maximum of 4 mg/day but an 8 year old will not likely need or tolerate the highest dose, which may cause sedation
  • The mother prefers the methylphenidate patch approach, as it seems to be the most convenient way to address the sleep problems
  • dditionally, sometimes the patient refuses to swallow pills and will take the medication only if convinced to do so, or possibly if sprinkled on food. This confrontation over medications adds too much extra time to the mother’s already hectic morning schedule
  • The patient likes the novelty of the patch, which reminds her of a sticker. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

Pediatrician’s Mental Notes: Followup Visit Week 20

  • The 10 mg patch with an eight hour or shorter wear time addresses the classroom ADHD symptoms without causing insomnia
  • However, on the days when the mother forgets to remove the patch before 3 pm, insomnia returns • That is resolved by setting her cell-phone alarm to remind her to remove the patch every day at 3 pm after applying it at 7 am
  • At first the patient and her mother are impressed with the novelty of the patch and its fl exibility and the resolution of the patient’s insomnia
  • However, she is still argumentative, including some evenings at bedtime, and this can interfere with getting to bed on time even though the patient no longer has insomnia
  • The patient scratched her sister’s face last week with her fingernails because her sister was playing with the patient’s dolls
  • Thinks it is funny that her sister’s face is scratched
  • “She looks like she has warpaint on her cheek”
  • The pediatrician feels like only a bit of progress has been made with several months of medication treatment, including two different stimulants
  • Even though inattentive symptoms in the classroom are reportedly improved, oppositional symptoms both at school and at home are not improved and if anything, are the main problem now
  • Furthermore, the patches are expensive, not covered well by the mother’s insurance and frequently are pulled off by the patient or her classmates tormenting her in response to her fi ghting/arguing with them
  • Refers the patient and her mother to a psychiatrist
  • Attending Psychiatrist’s Mental Notes: Initial Psychiatric Evaluation • Seems like the patient needs more stimulant during the day and less at night. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
  • Also, seems like the oppositional symptoms may require special therapeutic focus
  • Considerations include:
    • Developing a platform of stimulant to optimize treatment with another oral medication
    • Increasing the dose during the day to see if oppositional symptoms will respond to this
    • If not, consider augmentation strategies for the oppositional symptoms
    • Psychotherapy (too expensive and too time consuming, mother cannot miss work, and too far away)
    • Atypical antipsychotic (controversial, for use of atypical antipsychotics is not approved for ADHD or for oppositional symptoms of ADHD/ODD
    • guanfacine XR – approved for ADHD with some evidence for use in oppositional as well as inattentive/hyperactive symptoms of ADHD but not approved for ODD.
  • Suggested switching back to an oral medication from the patch • Trial of lisdexamfetamine 30 mg once in the morning Attending Physician’s Mental Notes: First and Second Interim Followups, Weeks 4 and 8
  • Only partial efficacy but no insomnia
  • Rather than increase dose of lisdexamfetamine, added 5 mg of dextroamphetamine at 7 am, then 10 mg, then 15 mg, became nauseous, reduced to 10 mg on top of lisdexamphetamine 30 mg in the morning
  • Sometimes a second 5 mg dose of the dextroamphetamine after school is necessary
  • This regimen does not cause insomnia
  • ADHD better but oppositional symptoms persist
  • Augmentation with guanfacine XR 1 mg/day

Case Outcome: Followup Weeks 12 to 20

  • No side effects
  • Titration to 2 mg/day
  • Continues lisdexamfetamine 30 mg in the morning
  • Plus dextroamphetamine 5 mg in the morning
  • Plus occasional dextroamphetamine 5 mg additional daytime dose
  • Oppositional symptoms improved slowly but surely over 2 months
  • Psychiatrist asks whether the patient’s sister has any problems in school, and the mother states that she is “spacey” but not oppositional
  • Psychiatrist suggests to bring in the sister the next time the patient comes and gives mother screening forms for ADHD and asks her to consult with her other daughter’s teacher to see if there are symptoms of ADHD in that daughter as well.
  • Psychiatrist asks mother to make an appointment for herself because it is obvious that she has undiagnosed and untreated ADHD.
    • Given adult ADHD rating form for mother to fill out – Symptoms of ADHD in the mother are obvious during various interviews
    • Mother misses appointments or is late for appointments
    • Often appears disorganized
    • Did not fi ll out her child’s forms on time
    • Did not deliver forms to her child’s teacher, forgot, lost them
    • Admits being very disorganized since her second child started school
    • Feels overwhelmed by two children and her life circumstances
    • Could also have some signs of depression
    • Can’t get organized to take her child to CBT
    • Has a hard time keeping a regular schedule and also keeping her daughter on a regular schedule of going to bed and waking up
    • Was unable to remember to remove the daughter’s skin patch unless she set a cell phone alarm
    • All these suggest further evaluation of the mother is indicated since ADHD commonly runs in families and has a very high genetic contribution
    • See the following Case 14, p 151 for presentation of the mother’s case. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

Case Debrief

The patient is an 8-year-old with ADHD, inattentive type with comorbid ODD

  • High doses of stimulants reduce inattention but cause insomnia and do not adequately treat oppositional symptoms
  • “Top up” with the alpha 2A selective noradrenergic agonist (guanfacine XR) improves oppositional symptoms and the patient has stabilized Take-Home Points
  • ADHD with ODD comorbidity can be a difficult combination of behaviors to treat in children
  • Combining stimulants with alpha 2A selective agonist actions may be useful in some patients with this combination of symptoms not adequately responsive to stimulants alone.

Performance in Practice: Confessions of a Psychopharmacologist

  • What could have been done better here?
    • Should the father have been included in the medical decisions?
    • Whether or not he has legal medical rights, he has visitation rights and could feel upset or vindictive if left out
    • It is possible that the patient is still dealing with her parents’ divorce and still adjusting to her sister taking some of her mother’s time and attention; some of the oppositional symptoms may not be due to ODD but to family conflict and possibly family or individual psychotherapy involving the patient, her mother and/ or her sister could be productive here. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
  • Possible action item for improvement in practice
    • Make a concerted effort to involve the father – Perhaps this patient should have been sent to a specialist psychopharmacologist earlier and symptom improvement may have occurred earlier
    • Perhaps a trial of atomoxetine would have been beneficial

Tips and Pearls

  • Although guanfacine XR is approved as a monotherapy for ADHD, some studies and clinical anecdotes suggest that it can be combined with stimulatnts for patients with difficult oppositional comorbid symptoms.
  • “Sculpted therapy” combining long acting with immediate acting formulations of stimulants may optimize treatment for some cases with inadequate responses to long acting formulations alone

Two-Minute Tute: A brief lesson and psychopharmacology tutorial (tute) with relevant background material for this case

    • Rating scales
    • Oppositional Defiant Disorder vs Conduct Disorder
    • NE and DA in prefrontal cortex in ADHD

Table 1: ADHD Rating Scale-IV – home version

Child’s Name __________________________________________________

Child’s Age ______ Sex: M F Grade______ Child’s Race______ NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Discussion Assignment

Completed by: Mother Father Guardian Grandparent

Circle the number that best describes your child’s home behavior over the last 6 months never sometimes often very or rarely often

  1. Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork. 0 1 2 3
  2. Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. 0 1 2 3
  3. Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. 0 1 2 3
  4. Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected. 0 1 2 3
  5. Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. 0 1 2 3
  6. Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate. 0 1 2 3
  7. Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish work. 0 1 2 3
  8. Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly. 0 1 2 3
  9. Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. 0 1 2 3
  10. Is “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor.” 0 1 2 3
  11. A voids tasks (e.g., schoolwork, homework) that require sustained mental effort. 0 1 2 3
  12. Talks excessively 0 1 2 3
  13. Loses things necessary for tasks or activities. 0 1 2 3
  14. Blurts out answers before questions have been completed. 0 1 2 3
  15. Is easily distracted. 0 1 2 3
  16. Has difficulty awaiting turn. 0 1 2 3
  17. Is forgetful in daily activities. 0 1 2 3
  18. Interrupts or intrudes on others. 0 1 2 3

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Table 2: ADHD rating scale-IV – school version

Child’s Name __________________________________________________

Child’s Age ______ Sex: M F Grade______ Child’s Race______

Completed by: Mother Father Guardian Grandparent

Circle the number that best describes your child’s home behavior over the last 6 months never sometimes often very or rarely often

1. Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork. 0 1 2 3 2.

Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat. 0 1 2 3 3.

Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities. 0 1 2 3 4

Leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected. 0 1 2 3 5.

Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. 0 1 2 3 6.

Runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate. 0 1 2 3 7.

Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish work. 0 1 2 3 8.

Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly. 0 1 2 3

9. Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities. 0 1 2 3 10. Is “on the go” or acts as if “driven by a motor.” 0 1 2 3 11.

Avoids tasks (e.g., schoolwork, homework) that require sustained mental effort. 0 1 2 3 12.

Talks excessively 0 1 2 3 13.

Loses things necessary for tasks or activities. 0 1 2 3 14.

Blurts out answers before questions have been completed. 0 1 2 3 15.

Is easily distracted. 0 1 2 3 16. Has difficulty awaiting turn. 0 1 2 3 17.

Is forgetful in daily activities. 0 1 2 3 18.

Interrupts or intrudes on others. 0 1 2 3

NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment

Table 3: Oppositionaldefi ant disorder

  • Aggressiveness
  • Tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others
  • Negativistic, hostile and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months which according to DSM IV must have 4 or more of the following:
    • Often loses temper
    • Often argues with adults
    • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests or rules
    • Often deliberately annoys people
    • Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
    • Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
    • Is often angry and resentful
    • Is often spiteful and vindictive

Table 4: Conduct disorder

  • Some think that conduct disorder is a worse version of ODD
  • Approximately 6–10% of boys and 2–9% of girls
  • Can be comorbid with ADHD
  • Can go away by adulthood
  • Can progress into antisocial personality disorder
  • Can be comorbid with many other disorders including substance abuse
  • Violation of basic rights of others and rules of society, which according to DSM IV at least three of the following must be present in the last 12 months and at least one in the last 6 months. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.
    • Aggression to people and animals
    • Destruction of property
    • Deceitfulness or theft
    • Serious violations of rules

DA concentration

Figure 1. ADHD: Hypothetically Low Signals and/or High Noise in the Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) in ADHD. Theoretically, ADHD with inattention, hyperactivity and/or impulsiveness is due to the prefrontal cortex being “out of tune” with both DA (dopamine) and NE (norepinephrine) being too low, and causing signals to be low and/or “noise” to be too high and drown out signals, thus creating the symptoms of ADHD.

NE concentration

NE optimized-signal increased

DA optimized-noise reduced.

DA concentration

Figure 2. ADHD: Treatment to Increase NE, Increase DA. Stimulants increase both NE (norepinephrine) and DA (dopamine) actions in prefrontal cortex, increasing signals and reducing noise and thus hypothetically reducing the symptoms of ADHD.  NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

DA concentration

NE low-signal reduced

DA optimized-noise reduced

NE concentration

Figure 3. ADHD: Hypothetically Low Signals Due to Low NE. Although many cases of ADHD may be due to low DA and NE as shown in Figure 1, some may hypothetically be due to only low NE

NE concentration

NE optimized-signal increased

DA optimized-noise reduced.

DA concentration

Figure 4. ADHD: Treatment with Alpha 2A Agonist. In cases where ADHD is due predominantly to low NE activity, as shown in Figure 3, selective NE enhancing agents such as the alpha 2A selective noradrenergic agonist guanfacine XR may be helpful in treating ADHD symptoms without necessarily needing to interact with DA

NE concentration

NE very low-signal much reduced

DA low-noise increased

DA concentration

Figure 5. ADHD and Oppositional Symptoms: Hypothetically Very Low Signals in VMPFC (Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex). Cases of ADHD with comorbid ODD (oppositional defi ant disorder) may differ from classical ADHD shown in Figure 1. With ADHD and ODD, there may hypothetically be very low NE signals and low DA levels with increased noise.

NE concentration

NE still low-signal still reduced

DA optimized-noise reduced

DA concentration

Figure 6. ADHD and Oppositional Symptoms: Treatment with a Stimulant. When ADHD with ODD (Figure 5) is treated with a stimulant, this improves both NE and DA levels, but is theoretically suboptimal tuning of NE. Thus, NE is still low, signals still reduced while DA optimized because noise is reduced. This may explain why stimulants can improve some ADHD symptoms in patients with comorbid ADHD but not their ODD symptoms. Raising the dose of the stimulant would put NE into balance, but would put DA too high and thus out of balance.

NE concentration

NE optimized-signal increased

DA optimized-noise reduced

DA concentration

Figure 7. ADHD and Oppositional Symptoms: Augment a Stimulant with an Alpha 2A Agonist. After treatment of ADHD comorbid with ODD (Figure 5) with stimulants (Figure 6), the prefrontal cortex is still not adequately tuned (Figure 6), so that ADHD symptoms may be improved but oppositional symptoms persist. Adding an alpha 2A selective noradrenergic agonist such as guanfacine XR to the stimulant will improve NE tone selectively, and hypothetically enhance the therapeutic actions of the stimulant so that both ADHD and ODD symptomst are improved

Posttest Self Assessment Question: Answer What is true about oppositional symptoms in patients with ADHD

A. They can be part of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in children – False. The diagnostic criteria are inattentive, hyperactive and

impulsive, not oppositional; some patients have oppositional symptoms insuffi cient to meet the criteria for ODD but they are not part of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD

B. They can be confused with impulsive symptoms of ADHD – True. Oppositional symptoms, however, are purposeful and without remorse whereas impulsive symptoms are thoughtless and cause remorse after the fact. NURS 6630 Week 9: Therapy for Clients with ADHD Assignment.

C. They can be part of oppositional defi ant disorder (ODD) which can be comorbid with ADHD

– True D. They can be part of conduct disorder (CD) which can be comorbid with ADHD

– Although true, oppositional symptoms are not suffi cient for the diagnosis of conduct disorder which requires additional symptoms as well for the diagnosis to be made

Answer: B, C and D

References

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  2. McLoughlin G, Ronald A, Kuntsi J et al. Genetic support for the dual nature of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: substantial genetic overlap between the inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive components. J Abnorm Child Psychol 2007; 35(6): 999–1008
  3. Todd RD, Rasmussen ER, Neuman RJ et al. Familiality and heritability of subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in a population sample of adolescent female twins. Am J Psychiatry 2001; 158(11): 1891–8
  4. Faraone SV, Advances in the genetics and neurobiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Biol Psychiatry 2006; 60: 1025–7
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