COMMENTARY

Understanding the Effect Size of ADHD Medications: Implications for Clinical Care

Stephen V. Faraone, PhD

Disclosures

September 18, 2003

In This Article

Conclusion

Despite this problem, taking an evidence-based approach to patient care requires physicians to consider adverse events along with efficacy when choosing treatments for their patients. Additionally, our discussion of efficacy does not diminish the importance of the many other questions physicians must consider when prescribing ADHD medications. Is the patient taking other medications? Do they have a coexisting psychiatric disorder that suggests the need for combined pharmacotherapy? What duration of action would be best for the patient? Have they had prior trials with any of the potential treatments? If so, what were the effects? These and other questions remind us that although quantitative methods such as the computation of effect size play a crucial role in the practice of evidence-based medicine, they will never fully replace the evidence collected by informed physicians seeking to optimize the care of their patients.

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