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About This Guide

Foreword

From Mark Bellgrove, AADPA President

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which this guideline was developed. I pay my respects to elders, past, present and emerging. I also acknowledge those in Australia living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I hope that the language used throughout this guideline respects and honours your lived experience of ADHD.

The Australasian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) was formed in 2016 when a group of professionals came together, motivated by a desire to see a ’better deal’ for the around 1 million Australians living with ADHD. The AADPA membership is interdisciplinary, with members having backgrounds including, but not limited to, psychiatry, paediatrics, psychology, allied health and ADHD coaching, as well as research into the causes and treatments of ADHD.

AADPA was extremely fortunate to obtain funding from the Australian Government Department of Health (Grant Agreement ID: 4-A168GGT) in 2018 to deliver the Support for People Impacted by ADHD Program.  A key piece of early work conducted by AADPA under this grant was the commissioning of Deloitte Access Economics to fully evaluate the social and economic costs of ADHD in Australia.

This evaluation estimated that ADHD costs $20.42 billion per year, or $25,071 per individual with ADHD per annum (Sciberras et al., 2022). A further key objective of this grant – and indeed a key motivation for the establishment of AADPA – was the formulation of an Australian evidence-based clinical practice guideline for ADHD. Accordingly, on 14 August 2019, AADPA registered its intent with Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to develop a clinical practice guideline (NHMRC Guideline ID: 273) for ADHD.

Since that time, AADPA has engaged widely with the Australian professional and consumer communities to ensure the formulation of a guideline that is evidence-based, acknowledges that caring for individuals with ADHD requires an interdisciplinary approach, and respects the voices of those with a lived experience of ADHD.

Prof Mark Bellgrove

Prof. Mark Bellgrove

President, Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA), Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University.

This ADHD evidence-based clinical practice guideline could not have come to fruition without the hard work and dedication of a large team. I am indebted to our Chairs, Professor Katrina Williams and Dr Edward Petch, for their selfless and steadfast dedication to this process. Dr Marie Misso, our methodologist, has meticulously conducted the required evidence reviews and guided our team through the process of formulating this guideline.

Dr Tamara May has provided invaluable project support, including an immense contribution to the preparation of this document. Ms Robyn Scarfe has, as always, has provided wonderful secretariat support from AADPA. Huge thanks also go the members of the Guideline Development Group (GDG) (listed below) who have given large amounts of their time to ensure that the recommendations made within this guideline are evidence-based, when possible, or appropriate and relevant for the Australian context.

This process has been made all the more difficult due to the constraints placed on us by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has meant that nearly all meetings have been conducted virtually. Thanks to all for their forbearance under these difficult circumstances. I would like to take this opportunity to also thank the AADPA Board and the broader AADPA membership who have waited patiently for the delivery of this guideline; I sincerely hope that it has been worth the wait.

Finally, to the many people living with ADHD in Australia, it is my ardent hope that this guideline will ultimately lead to better care, reduced stigma and improved quality of life.

Prof Mark Bellgrove, PhD, FASSA

President, Australasian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA)
Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience,
Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University.

From The Chairs

Professor Katrina Williams

Prof. Katrina Williams

Dr Edward Petch

Dr Edward Petch

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands for which this guideline is developed and pay our respects to all elders, past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge the need to live in an undivided Australia, where all people are equal and have access to all they need to thrive.

We hope the language we have used throughout does not offend. Our identification of any specific groups within Australia is only intended to ensure there is awareness of a need for special considerations in care, which we hope will be to the advantage of individuals.

This Australian evidence-based clinical practice guideline is the first produced by the Australasian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA). The Guideline provides people with ADHD, their families and carers, health practitioners, educators, policymakers, researchers and communities with 111 recommendations specifically tailored to the Australian context.

The Guideline was developed in accordance with NHMRC standards for clinical practice guidelines. The Guideline Development Group (GDG) comprised a broad range of people with experience of ADHD, including those with ADHD, family members, community members, professional groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and health professionals. All GDG members had no identified or undeclared conflicts of interest.

The development of this guideline was funded by AADPA using grant funds from the Australian Department of Health. As well as being a GDG member, Professor Mark Bellgrove, President of AADPA, led meeting organisation and coordination of the methodology, administration and report development. Funding was used to employ Dr Marie Misso as lead guideline methodologist, Ms Robyn Scarfe to assist with secretariat support, Dr Nicole Stefanac to assist with document editing, Ms Kim Fuller to develop the online consultation process and assist with document preparation, and Dr Tamara May, also a GDG member, to provide meeting coordination and report writing and management.

The guidance on how to respond to the needs and preferences of people living with ADHD is based on the highest quality scientific evidence available, which was systematically reviewed. Where insufficient evidence was available, recommendations reflect the majority views of the GDG. The GDG developed the recommendations independently through a structured consensus process, with no involvement of the influence of the funding body and other stakeholder interests.

We are indebted to the funders of this guideline, to the NHMRC for providing a rigorous guideline development framework, to those organisations who have provided representatives or endorsement, to AADPA and its president, and to all the supporting staff, in particular, Drs Tamara May and Marie Misso, who worked unsociable hours to ensure evidence and guideline readiness at each stage. We also gratefully acknowledge the extensive input from members of the GDG who donated their time, and to all those who provided feedback, support and advice.

That this guideline has been developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the attendant difficulties in scheduling and meeting with people from all Australian states and territories, is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the GDG members.

We hope that this guideline will be of value to all those living with ADHD.

Dr Edward Petch & Prof Katrina Williams