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Changes in medications administered in schools
The Journal of school nursing
  • Ann Marie McCarthy, University of Iowa
  • M. W. Kelly
  • S. Johnson
  • J. Roman
  • M. B. Zimmerman
Document Type
Peer Reviewed
Publication Date
NLM Title Abbreviation
J Sch Nurs
PubMed ID
The purpose of this descriptive, cross-sectional study was to determine if there have been changes in the type and number of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) medications administered in schools since the introduction of long-acting stimulants. A survey was sent to 1,000 school nurses randomly selected from the National Association of School Nurses membership, with 339 returned (34%). Between 2000 and 2003 the proportion of students receiving any prescription medication (2.9/100 vs. 1.0/100), methylphenidate (1.2 vs. 0.2), or amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (0.3/100 vs. 0.1/100) was significantly reduced ( p < .0001). High school students took fewer prescription ( p < .0001) and AD/HD medications ( p < .0001), but more nonprescription medications than other students. A total of 163 different prescription medications and 28 nonprescription medications were administered during the typical school day. This study suggests that the use of long-acting stimulants has significantly reduced the number of prescription medications administered in schools. This reduction has been accompanied by a dramatic increase in the range of medications administered, making the medication administration process in schools more complex, not less.
  • Adolescent,
  • Adult,
  • Amphetamines/therapeutic use,
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity/drug therapy/nursing,
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants/therapeutic use,
  • Child,
  • Cross-Sectional Studies,
  • Dextroamphetamine/therapeutic use,
  • Drug Administration Schedule,
  • Drug Prescriptions/statistics & numerical data,
  • Drug Therapy/nursing/statistics & numerical data,
  • Drug Therapy,
  • Combination,
  • Drug Utilization Review,
  • Female,
  • Humans,
  • Male,
  • Methylphenidate/therapeutic use,
  • Nonprescription Drugs/therapeutic use,
  • Nurse's Role,
  • Nursing Evaluation Research,
  • Physician's Practice Patterns/statistics & numerical data,
  • Questionnaires,
  • Safety Management,
  • School Nursing/organization & administration,
  • Workload
Published Article/Book Citation
The Journal of school nursing, 22:2 (2006) pp.102-107.
Citation Information
Ann Marie McCarthy, M. W. Kelly, S. Johnson, J. Roman, et al.. "Changes in medications administered in schools" The Journal of school nursing Vol. 22 Iss. 2 (2006) p. 102 - 107 ISSN: 1059-8405
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