Objective To identify interventions being used to manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the UK.
Design A survey within the Sheffield Treatments for ADHD Research project. A convenience sample of participants in the UK who consented to join an observational cohort were asked closed questions about medication, behavioural change programmes and service use, and an open-ended question about what else they used.
Setting A broad variety of non-National Health Service, non-treatment seeking settings throughout the UK, including local authority organisations, schools, ADHD and autism spectrum condition support groups and social media.
Participants Families of children aged 5–18 with carer reported ADHD and Conners Global Index (CGI) T scores of 55+.
Results Responses from 175 families were analysed. The mean age of the children was 10.21 (2.44), and two-thirds (n=114) had additional diagnoses. The majority used medications to manage ADHD (n=120) and had participated in a parenting class (n=130). Just over a quarter (28%, n=49) did not use ADHD medications, and used sleep medications. Just under half had consulted psychologists (n=83), and 32 had participated in other talking therapies such as psychotherapy, counselling and cognitive–behavioural therapy. A few used aids such as reward charts or fiddle toys (n=17) and participated in activities (mostly physical) (n=14). A substantial minority (78/175) had used non-mainstream treatments, the most popular being homoeopathy (n=32), nutritional interventions (n=21) and bodywork such as massage or cranial osteopathy (n=9).
Conclusions Families reported use of a wide variety of treatments to help with management of their children with ADHD in addition to their use of mainstream treatments.