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Monitoring Effectiveness of Medication Treatment

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69136
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Posted Jan 10, 2004 at 9:54:19 AM
Subject: Monitoring Effectiveness of Medication Treatment

I'm a school psychologist and have been frustrated for several years with the lack of opportunity for teachers to give feedback to physicians regarding the effectiveness of medication and other treatments. I try to encourage parents to request the information from teachers prior to appointments. I often provide a "daily chart" that allows the teacher to rate 3 or 4 target behaviors that she has prioritized. This data is available for the physician to review.

Additionally, I use the BASC TRS and PRS to gather data from parent and teacher regarding a variety of issues. Too often, the common characteristics of attention problems or impulsive behaviors are symptoms of other problems such as anxiety, depression, disorders of mood, ODD, and conduct disorders.

I use this approach as part of my contribution to "pre-referral activities" and general education intervention. This data is included in my comprehensive evaluation, if the student is referred for special education consideration. If the parents are interested in consulting with their physician, then I encourage them to share my written report with the doctor.

I am sure that large hospitals and mental health centers have someone on staff to coordinate, collect, summarize, and share this data with the physician. However, the family physician is probably at a disadvantage. I would like to pilot a service that would provide needed information to the physician. Decisions regarding medication effectiveness would be based on feedback from the parent and teacher. Others such as the student or therapist could be included in this model.

I would provide a practical, convenient, and effective system to obtain information from parents, school staff, and medical staff regarding the effectiveness of a student’s treatment plan during the school year. (Obviously, parents would need to sign a release of information so that this data could be shared.) I would be responsible for obtaining and providing feedback to all parties involved in the treatment plan. By doing so, appropriate decisions regarding continuation or adjustments in treatment can be made based on input from a variety of sources.

Doctors need feedback from teachers and parents. Parents need feedback from teachers regarding changes in student behavior/performance. Teachers need the opportunity to provide feedback to parents and physicians regarding changes in student behavior/performance.

I would welcome feedback on this idea. I recently found a website that provided teachers with an opportunity to complete a rating scale and then forward (by email) it to the student's physician. It appears to only work with physicians associated with a specific medical group. I would like to pilot my idea with anyone interested.

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