Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: an Aboriginal perspective on diagnosis and intervention

Loh, Pek-Ru, Hayden, George, Vicary, David, Mancini, Vincent, Martin, Neilson, and Piek, Jan P. (2017) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: an Aboriginal perspective on diagnosis and intervention. Journal of Tropical Psychology, 7 (e2). pp. 1-12.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) arising from a Western health model has generated much global debate about its relevance in Indigenous communities. More importantly, it has raised questions concerning acceptance of its diagnosis and intervention, hence affecting early identification and treatment compliance. The current study explored an Aboriginal perspective of diagnosis and treatment compliance of ADHD in an Australian Aboriginal community. Using a qualitative approach, 27 participants aged between 22 and 52 years from a Western Australian metropolitan Aboriginal community comprising community members, Aboriginal mental health and education professionals, and Aboriginal parents of children with ADHD, were interviewed either individually or in groups. Participants identified differences in childrearing practices, expectation of child behaviour in school, higher tolerance of hyperactive behaviour within the Aboriginal community and lack of information about ADHD as the main reasons for parents not seeking medical help for the child. Participants also saw the changes in a child’s behaviour after medication as a loss of identity/self and this was reported to be the main contributor to treatment non-compliance. Overall, most participants recognised the detrimental effect of having ADHD. However, the current diagnostic process and treatment are not culturally appropriate to assist the Aboriginal community to effectively manage this disorder in their children.

Item ID: 49365
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1838-9902
Keywords: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Australia, Aboriginal population
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Curtin University (CU)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC capacity building grant 533547, CU Internal Research Grant
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2017 00:15
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4504 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing > 450412 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men’s health and wellbeing @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920303 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) @ 100%
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