Pre-Treatment Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Before your child begins treatment of any kind you should ask:
- How much experience do you have treating children with similar symptoms?
- What are the goals of this treatment?
- What is the evidence that this treatment is effective?
- How will we measure the effectiveness of this treatment?
- How long should we expect our child to be treated?
- What is our role in the treatment?
- What are possible adverse events and when might they appear?
Questions for someone prescribing medication:
- What is the generic name of this medication, and what do we know about how the active chemical ingredient works?
- What are the alternative medications, and why did you choose this one?
- If it’s effective, what will this medication do for my child?
- How do you arrive at the best dosage for this medication?
- How long does it take to work?
- What are the potential side effects?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of the medication?
- What kind of monitoring will you do while my child is on the medication?
- What’s the research on this medication?
- How many patients have you treated with this medication?
- How long should my child continue to take this medication?
- If we choose to stop using the medication, how slowly must it be discontinued, and how do you monitor that tapering-off process?
Questions for someone recommending behavioral therapy:
- What is the therapy called?
- What was it designed to treat, and what is it used for?
- What’s the evidence for its effectiveness?
- Is the therapy manualized, and how closely must we follow the manual?
- What is the specific goal of this course of treatment?
- How many patients have you treated with this specific therapy?
- What special training have you had? What does it involve? How long does it typically take?
- When can we expect to see changes in behavior?
- What is the parents’ role?
- Do you typically involve other family members?
- How will we measure progress?