Monday, July 15, 2024

ADHD Associated with Increased Service Utilization and Costs, Study Finds

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children, has been the focus of an extensive study synthesizing the literature on service utilization and associated costs. The research involved a thorough search of nine databases for peer-reviewed primary studies in English from 2007 to 2023.

The study incorporated thirty-two studies and revealed an increase in the use of pharmaceuticals, mental health, and special education services by children with ADHD compared to those without the disorder. Despite this, there are still significant unmet health needs among children with ADHD, with the study noting that these children were twice as likely to have unmet health needs than their counterparts.

Service Utilization

Cost Disparities and Productivity Losses in ADHD with Service Utilization

In terms of costs, the findings showed a considerable variation with annual health system costs per patient being higher for children with ADHD ($722-$11,555) compared to their counterparts ($179-$3,646). From a societal perspective, children with ADHD were associated with higher costs ($162-$18,340) than their counterparts ($0-$2,540). When considering all studies with different sample sizes, the overall weighted mean direct medical cost was found to be $5,319 for children with ADHD compared to $1,152 for their counterparts, resulting in a difference of $4,167.

The study also highlighted the substantial cost of productivity losses associated with ADHD, which had a ‘large’ effect on the increment of direct medical costs. The conclusion underscored the importance of improving access to effective services for children with ADHD to mitigate the impact of the disorder, despite the increased service utilization and costs associated with it.


Original Article DOI: 10.1016/j.jval.2023.11.002

Original title: Economic burden and service utilisation of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – a systematic review and meta-analysis

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