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Ensuring comprehensive treatment for children with attention problems

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed childhood disorders worldwide, affecting 3.3 million children and adolescents in Europe alone. It is a complex disorder, which makes its assessment equally complex, thereby increasing the risk of misdiagnosis.

Unanimously adopting the proposals of rapporteur Silvia Bonet (Andorra, SOC), PACE’s Social Affairs Committee called on Council of Europe member States to address the risk of misdiagnosis of ADHD, in particular by ensuring healthcare professionals are adequately trained in the proper diagnosis and they fully comply with the diagnostic procedures laid down in national and international guidelines.

Governments, according to the committee, should follow a comprehensive approach for the treatment of ADHD and ensure that psycho-stimulant drugs are used as a measure of last resort with priority given to behavioural interventions and support at school.

They should also finance research on environmental factors involved in ADHD and promote the introduction of early identification and intervention programmes.