Friday, April 30, 2010

Prevalence of ADHD Diagnosis and Nonmedical Prescription Stimulant Use in Medical Students

The new issue of *Academic Psychiatry (vol. 34, #3, May-June) includesan article: "Prevalence of ADHD Diagnosis and Nonmedical PrescriptionStimulant Use in Medical Students."The authors are Jeffrey P. Tuttle, M.D., Neil E. Scheurich, M.D. andJohn Ranseen, Ph.D.Here's the

OBJECTIVE: The authors aimed to determine the prevalence of ADHDdiagnosis and the prevalence of nonmedical prescription stimulant useamong a sample of medical students.

METHODS: An anonymous survey was administered to 388 medical students(84.0% return rate) across all 4 years of education at a public medicalcollege.

RESULTS: Eighteen medical students (5.5%) reported being diagnosed withADHD and 72.2% of those students were diagnosed after the age of 18.Thirty-three medical students (10.1%) reported using prescriptionstimulants for nonmedical purposes during their lifetime. The mostcommonly reported motivation for nonmedical prescription stimulant usewas to improve academic performance. There was no significantcorrelation between an ADHD diagnosis and a history of nonmedicalprescription stimulant use (p=0.072).

CONCLUSION: This survey suggests that medical students appear to be arelatively high-risk population for nonmedical prescription stimulant use.The author note provides the following contact info: Jeffrey PaulTuttle, University of Kentucky, Department of Psychiatry, 3470 BlazerParkway, Lexington, KY 40509;

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