These New Zealand Guidelines for the Assessment and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder address the issue of ADHD in children and young people aged between 5 and 13 years. The guideline development group was aware that considerable work is being undertaken on the assessment and management of those outside this age range, and expects that the New Zealand Guidelines can be extended in the future when the results of these reviews are available.
The New Zealand Guidelines are primarily directed at health practitioners. In addition, their principles and recommendations are of relevance to parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals involved in the care of children and young people with ADHD.
While these New Zealand Guidelines are focused on ADHD only and are driven by an evidence base, clinicians must also pay attention to and use assessment and treatment methods appropriate to meeting the humanistic and cultural holistic needs of the child and family and whanau. Equally this requirement for a holistic approach applies to identifying and treating any comorbid psychiatric disorders and/or other disabilities that the child may have.
Assessment and treatment of ADHD will continue to evolve. These New Zealand Guidelines are evidence-based decision aids, based on the systematic evaluation of current evidence. They are not a substitute for informed clinical judgement regarding any specific clinical procedure or treatment based on the patient’s individual circumstances. The New Zealand Guidelines may be subject to change, including the addition of more detail and/or becoming more specific in purpose, as further relevant data or input are adopted. These New Zealand Guidelines should be reviewed and updated every two years from the date of publication. The Ministry of Health should ensure these New Zealand Guidelines are reviewed.