NURS 6630 Discussion Therapy for Clients with ADHD
NURS 6630 Discussion Therapy for Clients with ADHD
Tyler, a 9-year-old third grader, had always been an energetic child with a short
attention span. For years, his mother attributed his behaviors to him being “all boy” and
assumed it would improve as he grew older. Instead, daily tasks like chores and
homework became increasingly overwhelming for Tyler, resulting in disruptive behaviors
at home and school. After being evaluated by his healthcare provider, Tyler was
diagnosed with and treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a prevalent disorder for clients across the lifespan, as more than 6 million
children (CDC, 2016) and 8 million adults (ADAA, 2016) have been diagnosed with the
disorder. Like Tyler, individuals of all ages find that symptoms of ADHD can make life
challenging. However, when properly diagnosed and treated, clients often respond well
to therapies and have positive health outcomes.
This week, as you study ADHD therapies, you examine the assessment and treatment
of clients with ADHD. You also explore ethical and legal implications of these therapies.
Discussion: Presentations of ADHD
Although ADHD is often associated with children, this disorder is diagnosed in clients
across the lifespan. While many individuals are properly diagnosed and treated during
childhood, some individuals who have ADHD only present with subsyndromal evidence
of the disorder. These individuals are often undiagnosed until they reach adulthood and
struggle to cope with competing demands of running a household, caring for children,
and maintaining employment. For this Discussion, you consider how you might assess
and treat individuals presenting with ADHD.
Assess client factors and history to develop personalized therapy plans for clients with ADHD
Analyze factors that influence pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic processes in clients
requiring therapy for ADHD
Evaluate efficacy of treatment plans
Apply knowledge of providing care to adult and geriatric clients presenting for antidepressant
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the
Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Note: All Stahl resources can be accessed through this link provided.
Clancy, C.M., Change, S., Slutsky, J., & Fox, S. (2011). Attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder: Effectiveness of treatment in at-risk preschoolers; long-term effectiveness in
all ages; and variability in prevalence, diagnosis, and treatment. Table B. KQ2: Long-
term(>1 year) effectiveness of interventions for ADHD in people 6 years and older.
Stahl, S. M. (2013). Stahl’s essential psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific basis and
practical applications (4th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
To access the following chapters, click on the Essential Psychopharmacology, 4th ed
tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate chapter. Be sure to read all
sections on the left navigation bar for each chapter.
Chapter 12, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Its Treatment”
Stahl, S. M., & Mignon, L. (2012). Stahl’s illustrated attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
To access the following chapter, click on the Illustrated Guides tab and then the ADHD
Chapter 4, “ADHD Treatments”
Stahl, S. M. (2014b). The prescriber’s guide (5th ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge
To access information on the following medications, click on The Prescriber’s Guide,
5th ed tab on the Stahl Online website and select the appropriate medication.
Review the following medications:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Hodgkins, P., Shaw, M., McCarthy, S., & Sallee, F. R. (2012). The pharmacology and
clinical outcomes of amphetamines to treat ADHD: Does composition matter? CNS
Drugs, 26(3), 245–268. doi:10.2165/11599630-000000000-00000
Psychiatric Times. (2016). A 5-question quiz on ADHD. Retrieved from
To prepare for this Discussion:
Note: By Day 1 of this week, your Instructor will have assigned you to one of the
following case studies to review for this Discussion. To access the following case
studies, click on the Case Studies tab on the Stahl Online website and select the
appropriate volume and case number.
Case 1: Volume 1, Case #13: The 8-year-old girl who was naughty
Case 2: Volume 1, Case #14: The scatter-brained mother whose daughter has ADHD,
like mother, like daughter
Case 3: Volume 2, Case #21: Hindsight is always 20/20, or attention deficit
Review this week's Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide.
Go to the Stahl Online website and examine the case study you were assigned.
Take the pretest for the case study.
Review the patient intake documentation, psychiatric history, patient file, medication history, etc.
As you progress through each section, formulate a list of questions that you might ask the
patient if he or she were in your office.
Based on the patient’s case history, consider other people in his or her life that you would need
to speak to or get feedback from (i.e., family members, teachers, nursing home aides, etc.).
Consider whether any additional physical exams or diagnostic testing may be necessary for the
Develop a differential diagnoses for the patient. Refer to the DSM-5 in this week’s Learning
Resources for guidance.
Review the patient’s past and current medications. Refer to Stahl’s Prescriber’s Guide and
consider medications you might select for this patient.
Review the posttest for the case study.
Note: For this Discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will
be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the "Post
to Discussion Question" link and then select "Create Thread" to complete your initial
post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts,
and you cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking
By Day 3
Post a response to the following:
Provide the case number in the subject line of the Discussion.
List three questions you might ask the patient if he or she were in your office. Provide a
rationale for why you might ask these questions.
Identify people in the patient’s life you would need to speak to or get feedback from to further
assess the patient’s situation. Include specific questions you might ask these people and why.
Explain what physical exams and diagnostic tests would be appropriate for the patient and how
the results would be used.
List three differential diagnoses for the patient. Identify the one that you think is most likely and
List two pharmacologic agents and their dosing that would be appropriate for the patient’s
ADHD therapy based on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. From a mechanism of
action perspective, provide a rationale for why you might choose one agent over the other.
If your assigned case includes “check points” (i.e., follow-up data at week 4, 8, 12, etc.), indicate
any therapeutic changes that you might make based on the data provided.
Explain “lessons learned” from this case study, including how you might apply this case to your
own practice when providing care to patients with similar clinical presentations.
Read a selection of your colleagues' responses.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues who were assigned to a different case than
you. For example, if you were assigned to Case Study 1, respond to one colleague
assigned to Case Study 2 and one colleague assigned to Case Study 3. Explain how
you might apply knowledge gained from your colleagues’ case studies to you own
practice in clinical settings.
Submission and Grading Information
To access your rubric:
Week 9 Discussion Rubric
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 6
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 9 Discussion