Korean J Psychopharmacol.  2014 Jul;25(3):134-140.

Public Perspectives on Pharmacological Treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Keyo Medical Foundation, Uiwang, Korea. fiveway@paran.com
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Chungju, Korea.


The aim of this study was to examine 1) public knowledge and perceptions about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 2) factors influencing the public's decisions to adhere to ADHD pharmacotherapy.
In this study, 396 participants responded to the internet survey regarding their experiences, beliefs and treatment preferences about ADHD.
252 respondents (63.6%) were reluctant to pharmacological treatment of ADHD. The respondents chose the functional impairment of the brain as the main cause of ADHD were favorable to pharmacological treatment and scored significantly high on the ADHD Knowledge Questionnaire. On the other hand, the respondents who regarded ADHD as an overly active personality rather than a disease were skeptical to pharmacotherapy and scored significantly low. The respondents who were acquainted with someone who had been diagnosed with ADHD perceived themselves relatively well informed about ADHD. However, the subjective perception of the degree of knowledge of ADHD was not correlated with the objective score of the ADHD Knowledge Questionnaire.
The public is not well informed about ADHD and its treatments. Culturally appropriate psychoeducational strategies based on the media and the internet are needed. Providing biomedical conceptualization of ADHD to the public may aid with treatment decisions and promote adherence to pharmacological treatment.


ADHD; Pharmacotherapy; Medication; Perceptions; Public
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