Height, weight & pubertal status of adolescent girls with ADHD

This study is currently has ethical approval for NSW and ACT

The aim of this member-proposed project is to investigate pubertal development in girls with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to find out whether the age of menarche is affected by stimulant medication and to correlate any deviations from normal with the rate of growth in height and weight and the dose and duration of medication. This study is important because little is known about long-term effects of stimulant medication on the rate of physical maturation and there are few data on the growth of girls on stimulant medication. The hypothesis is that the slowing of growth in height and weight associated with long-term treatment with stimulant medication is also associated with delayed physical maturation.

Treating paediatricians of girls/women aged over 10 years with ADHD will hand out the Participant Information Statement and results sheet to the parent or to the patient, as appropriate, to complete. Paediatricians are asked to supply previous measurements of the girls’ heights and weights including the height and weight at the time that treatment started, the dates the measurements were taken and the dose of medication at the time. These data will be compared with data collected from a cohort of normal girls in the Nepean study who will serve as a control group.

Investigators: Drs Alison (Sally) Poulton (Sydney Medical School Nepean, NSW) and Daryl Efron (Royal Children’s Hospital, Vic)
Start date: January 2012
End date: July 2013
Ethics approval: Nepean Blue Mountains LHD 04/056. This is a lead ethics committee for NSW.

What we are asking APRN members to do:

  • Recruit participants (girls and women, minimum age 10 years) when they attend your clinic for follow-up for ADHD. They should be otherwise healthy and have height and weight measurements available prior to starting stimulant medication.
  • Give suitable patients the participant information sheet and invite them to complete a one page questionnaire. They will require assistance with the details, e.g. the height and weight measurements.
  • Keep a record of respondents and non respondents.
  • When you think that all suitable patients in your practice have been approached, return the completed questionnaires to Sally with the de-identified record of respondents/non respondents.
  • Display an APRN poster in their clinic to let families know that they may be approached about taking part in APRN research (see attached).

What we are asking participants to do:

  • Agree to complete, with help, a one-page questionnaire which will be forwarded to the research team.

Contact: If you would like more information, please email us at alison.poulton@sydney.edu.au. We look forward to hearing from you.