Hausse des prescriptions de stimulants pour traiter le trouble de l’attention chez les adultes en Colombie-Britannique (anglais)

6 octobre 2023

Overdiagnosis of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in British Columbia has led to a surge in stimulant medication use despite limited evidence of its long-term effectiveness, according to a new publication.

Data compiled by the University of B.C.’s Therapeutics Initiative show that throughout the 2000s, ADHD medication use remained stable among diagnosed B.C. residents aged 18 and older, at one or two users per 1,000 population. That number climbed gradually during the 2010s and then increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, peaking at 16.6 per 1,000 population last year.

Both the longer-term pattern and acute spike have been seen elsewhere, including the U.S. and Australia. Researchers have attributed it to a number of reasons, including increased awareness of the neurodevelopmental condition, health system pressures, misdiagnosis and pandemic-related factors such as the impact on mental health and the expansion of telehealth diagnoses, which tend to be less comprehensive than in-person visits.

Martin Gignac, chair of the Canadian ADHD Research Alliance (CADDRA) and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, said that while the increase in diagnoses requires exploration, he disagreed with the assessment that adult ADHD is generally “overdiagnosed.” He cited 2006 research led by Harvard Medical School health care policy professor Ronald C. Kessler that estimated 4.4 per cent of U.S. adults have ADHD, with just a fraction receiving a diagnosis for it.

Source et article complet : B.C. seeing surge in stimulant drugs being prescribed for adult ADHD, letter says – The Globe and Mail