Early ADHD Advocate Connors Dies; Concluded ADHD is Overdiagnosed to Sell Medication

Early ADHD Advocate Connors Dies; Concluded ADHD is Overdiagnosed to Sell Medication

The New York Times published “Keith Connors, Psychologist Who Set Standard For Diagnosing ADHD,” Dies at 84 on 7-18-17. The article reviews Dr. Connors’ distinguished career, including the development of the Connors Rating Scales and a major, government-funded 20 year research project which compared medication and behavioral therapy outcomes for ADHD.

 

His research initially found that medication was more effective than therapy, and the preliminary findings were taken to provide significant support for use of stimulant medication to treat ADHD.  His subsequent research, however, found that the benefits of medication faded and the most duration outcomes were obtained with a combination of therapy and medication, but most ADHD specialists appear to have focused on his initial findings.  In 2015, in an interview with the New York Times, he expressed concern – “dismay,” according to the author – about the rise in ADHD diagnoses.  He said, “The numbers make it look like an epidemic.  Well, it’s not. It’s preposterous.”  And, “This is a concoction to justify the giving out of medication at unprecedented and unjustified levels.” The article is available online without subscription (unless you view more than a few articles on the NYT site per month).

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