A survival analysis of psychostimulant prescriptions in New South Wales from 1990 to 2010

Matthew C. Lambert, Robert Reid, Brenton Prosser, Regina Bussing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Psychostimulant medication is considered a mainstay in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, research suggests that the typical duration of medication treatment for children and youth may be <3 years. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychostimulant treatment persistence for children and adolescents in New South Wales, Australia. Methods: This study used survival analysis to assess duration of medication treatment on a large administrative database of children and youth from New South Wales, Australia. Several models were fit to evaluate differences in survival rates among decades (1990-1999 vs. 2000-2010), gender, and age. Results: Results showed that: 1) Overall median treatment time (i.e., median survival time) was 1.96 years (99% CI=1.93, 1.99); 2) there were small, but significant changes over time in duration of treatment; 3) females had shorter treatment duration than males; and 4) there were relatively large differences in treatment duration across age groups. Conclusions: These results indicate that the majority of children and youth receive medication treatment for only a small portion of childhood/adolescence, and that there are differential patterns in treatment duration across age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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