Home Mental Health ADHD Online Treatment

Online ADHD Treatment

Significant increases in telehealth, or digital medical services, mean ADHD online treatment is more accessible than ever. However, experts caution that the effectiveness of ADHD treatment online requires additional research.

Last Modified: September 5, 2023
Fact Checked

Editors carefully fact-check all Drugwatch content for accuracy and quality.

Drugwatch has a stringent fact-checking process. It starts with our strict sourcing guidelines.

We only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

Why Trust DrugWatch?

Drugwatch.com has been empowering patients for more than a decade

Drugwatch.com has provided reliable, trusted information about medications, medical devices and general health since 2008. We’ve also connected thousands of people injured by drugs and medical devices with top-ranked national law firms to take action against negligent corporations.

Our team includes experienced medical writers, award-winning journalists, researchers and certified medical and legal experts. Drugwatch.com is HONCode (Health On the Net Foundation) certified. This means the high-quality information we provide comes from credible sources, such as peer-reviewed medical journals and expert interviews.

The information on Drugwatch.com has been medically and legally reviewed by more than 30 expert contributors, including doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, patient advocates and other health care professionals. Our writers are members of professional associations, including American Medical Writers Association, American Bar Association, The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates and International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.

About Drugwatch.com

  • Assisting patients and their families since 2008.
  • Helped more than 12,000 people find legal help.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed medical and legal information site.
Learn More About Us


"Drugwatch opened my eyes to the realities of big pharmacy. Having a family member with major depression and anxiety, I was looking for information on her medications. I found information that was very helpful, that her psychiatrist never told her."
Marianne Zahren Patient’s Family Member
  • Google Business Rating
  • BBB A+ Rating Logo

Is Online ADHD Treatment Effective?

ADHD is a chronic condition, so consistent treatment is essential. Based on several clinical trials, online interventions can effectively treat ADHD, though there is much room for improvement. Telemedicine may offer a powerful opportunity to provide greater access to ADHD treatment and monitoring.

One analysis of studies during the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated heightened risk factors for people with ADHD around treatment and adherence. Online ADHD treatment enables new opportunities for individualized treatment options, such as remote symptom monitoring.

Benefits of Online ADHD Treatment

Online and telehealth treatments have many benefits, including making ADHD care more available and convenient. Because ADHD affects executive functioning, accessing medication can be challenging for patients. Telehealth can make the process easier.

Telehealth helps collect caregiver reports, which can help optimize diagnostic steps. This can reduce delays and allow clinicians to prioritize complex and severe cases.

One study showed how pediatricians became more pragmatic with online tools during the pandemic. Examples included more remote services and better risk assessments. In addition, pediatricians started medications without a physical exam in some cases, such as when the patient’s behavior led to a crisis at home. Such service adaptations may help support more efficient and effective ADHD care.

Challenges of Online ADHD Treatment

Specific populations may face discrimination or barriers in accessing ADHD care via telehealth or online. These populations include: The blind or those with limited vision; people who are deaf and communicate via sign language; and people with limited English proficiency who may require assistance setting up an appointment.

Research suggests telehealth has yet to eliminate barriers to care for disadvantaged populations. Child telehealth patients were more likely to be older, white, have fewer co-existing conditions and live a greater distance from the clinic than those seen in person.

Some private mental health companies have received customer complaints about online service quality and communication for ADHD patients. Critics say relaxing the prescribing rules for ADHD medications and eliminating the need for an initial in-person visit has led to misdiagnosis.


Real Therapy, Done Online

BetterHelp offers flexible scheduling so you can make time for therapy in between meetings, classes, child care, and more. Get 20% off your first month.

Get Started
woman reaching out to support a man with depression, betterhelp logo underneath illustration

What Is the Best Online ADHD Treatment?

In the same way that ADHD medications interact differently with each person, the preferred method of online ADHD behavioral therapy – video or telephone – varies from person to person. Accessibility and technological issues also impact preferences.

Experts state that video helps when non-verbal cues are tied to symptoms and diagnosis. Further studies comparing phone and video and their clinical differences are advisable.

Online group therapy poses additional potential obstacles and challenges, such as insufficient training of group therapists. Some group members benefit more from an online format than others, though group cohesion may develop more slowly online than in person.

Online ADHD Treatment for Adults

ADHD therapy for adults, particularly older patients, has similar overall engagement as for younger adults, according to some studies. However, research also shows that older adults may require assistance with confidence-building around using the technology.

Mistrust in the health care system for people seeking adult ADHD therapy and mental health therapy can be a barrier. Other barriers may include poor internet access, physician reluctance to use the technology, lack of awareness, education and infrastructure. Studies find these obstacles are particularly an issue for rural communities.

Online ADHD Treatment for Teens and Children

Some research shows initial success with a video game-like digital health intervention in kids with inattentive ADHD (one of three presentations of ADHD). However, patients with other presentations of ADHD require further development of digital or online health interventions.

Early results suggest that telehealth parent coaching programs may support families with a child who has ADHD. It’s unclear how effective digital health is for increasing adherence to ADHD medication in teens and children. Experts agree that because ADHD has a chronic course, further long-term trials of digital or online ADHD treatments must be established.

Does Insurance Cover Online ADHD Treatment?

ADHD falls under the category of mental health benefits. Many commercial health plans broadened coverage to include telehealth services in response to the pandemic. The District of Columbia and 42 states require private insurers to reimburse telemedicine. Supplementary code changes cover COVID-19 reimbursement and related care for virtual, audio and telehealth services.

Telehealth can replace many in-person services, including office visits and consultations. Until December 31, 2024, patients could access telehealth services anywhere in the U.S., including at home, because of pandemic-related rule extensions.

After meeting the deductible, individuals pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for telehealth services. Talk to your doctor about the costs of services. It may depend on other insurance, co-insurance, the doctor’s fee and other factors.

Depending on your healthcare provider, you may not be able to get an initial or renewal prescription for ADHD medication via telehealth, particularly after the pandemic telehealth rules expire in 2024. The DEA is working with its partners to craft and confirm telehealth regulations for certain controlled substances.

How Much Does ADHD Online Treatment Cost?

Some studies suggest virtual appointments cost insurers less than office visits, urgent care, retail clinics or emergency departments. It may also provide savings to patients by limiting transportation and childcare costs and lost work time.

The cost of ADHD testing in adults ranges from $195 to $500. Some providers offer a comprehensive online assessment for an amount near the lower end of that scale. However, the consensus among mental health practitioners is that initial diagnosis of ADHD is best done in person.


Professional Therapy, Done Online

A licensed therapist with BetterHelp can provide professional support and guidance, on your schedule. Sign up and get matched in as little as 48 hours.

Get Started
woman reaching out to support a man with depression, betterhelp logo underneath illustration
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.