• The impact of a computerised test of attention and activity (QbTest) on diagnostic decision-making in children and young people with suspected attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: single-blind randomised controlled trial

      Hollis, Chris P.; Hall, Charlotte L.; Guo, Boliang; Groom, Madeleine J.; Brown, Nikki; Kaylor-Hughes, Catherine; Moldavsky, Maria; Valentine, Althea Z.; Walker, Gemma M.; Daley, David; et al. (2018)
      BACKGROUND: Diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) relies on subjective methods which can lead to diagnostic uncertainty and delay. This trial evaluated the impact of providing a computerised test of attention and activity (QbTest) report on the speed and accuracy of diagnostic decision-making in children with suspected ADHD. METHODS: Randomised, parallel, single-blind controlled trial in mental health and community paediatric clinics in England. Participants were 6-17 years-old and referred for ADHD diagnostic assessment; all underwent assessment-as-usual, plus QbTest. Participants and their clinician were randomised to either receive the QbTest report immediately (QbOpen group) or the report was withheld (QbBlind group). The primary outcome was number of consultations until a diagnostic decision confirming/excluding ADHD within 6-months from baseline. Health economic cost-effectiveness and cost utility analysis was conducted. Assessing QbTest Utility in ADHD: A Randomised Controlled Trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02209116). RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-two participants were randomised to QbOpen group (123 analysed) and 135 to QbBlind group (127 analysed). Clinicians with access to the QbTest report (QbOpen) were more likely to reach a diagnostic decision about ADHD (hazard ratio 1.44, 95% CI 1.04-2.01). At 6-months, 76% of those with a QbTest report had received a diagnostic decision, compared with 50% without. QbTest reduced appointment length by 15% (time ratio 0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.93), increased clinicians' confidence in their diagnostic decisions (odds ratio 1.77, 95% CI 1.09-2.89) and doubled the likelihood of excluding ADHD. There was no difference in diagnostic accuracy. Health economic analysis showed a position of strict dominance; however, cost savings were small suggesting that the impact of providing the QbTest report within this trial can best be viewed as 'cost neutral'. CONCLUSIONS: QbTest may increase the efficiency of ADHD assessment pathway allowing greater patient throughput with clinicians reaching diagnostic decisions faster without compromising diagnostic accuracy.
    • Knowledge and attitudes about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its treatment: The views of children, adolescents, parents, teachers and healthcare professionals

      Moldavsky, Maria; Sayal, Kapil (2013)
      Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuro-developmental disorder that causes controversy; this may have a negative effect on the ability of families, teachers and healthcare professionals to achieve shared understanding and goals. This article reviews recent research of the knowledge and attitudes of children, adolescents, parents, teachers, healthcare professionals and the public about ADHD. Findings suggest that misconceptions about ADHD persist, and children with ADHD and their parents report stigmatizing experiences. Educational interventions to improve the knowledge of teachers about ADHD appeared to be effective in the short term. Parents and professionals working together in the diagnosis and treatment of children with ADHD may have different views about their roles in the shared decision-making process. Studies have reported both similarities and differences in parents' and professionals' views about the effectiveness of treatments for ADHD, but all stakeholders supported the principles of information-sharing and working in partnership.;
    • Practitioner Review: Pathways to care for ADHD - a systematic review of barriers and facilitators

      Moldavsky, Maria; Schneider, Justine; Chakrabarti, Ipsita (2015)
      Background: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder starting in childhood that may persist into adulthood. It can be managed through carefully monitored medication and nonpharmacological interventions. Access to care for children at risk of ADHD varies both within and between countries. A systematic literature review was conducted to investigate the research evidence related to factors which influence children accessing services for ADHD.; Method: Studies investigating access to care for children at risk of ADHD were identified through electronic searches of the international peer-reviewed and grey literature. Databases were searched from inception till 30th April 2012. This identified 23,156 articles which were subjected to three levels of screening (title, abstract and full text) by a minimum of two independent reviewers. Due to the heterogeneity in the study designs, a narrative approach was used to present the findings.; Results: Twenty-seven papers met the inclusion criteria; these were grouped into four main themes, with some papers being included in more than one. These were wider determinants (10 papers); identification of need (9 papers); entry and continuity of care (13 papers) and interventions to improve access (4 papers). Barriers and facilitators to access were found to operate at the individual, organisational and societal level. Limited evidence of effective interventions to improve access was identified.; Conclusion: This review explored the multilayered obstacles in the pathway to care for children at risk of ADHD and the lack of evidence-based interventions designed to address these issues, thereby indicating areas for service development and further evaluative research.; © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
    • Primary school teachers' attitudes about children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the role of pharmacological treatment

      Moldavsky, Maria; Sayal, Kapil (2014)
      Background: Clinical experience and research suggest that teachers' attitudes about attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are an important factor influencing access to specialist assessment and treatment, including medication.; Methods: We performed a thematic analysis of comments written by primary school teachers who participated in a case-vignette study investigating the ability of teachers to recognise ADHD. Teachers read one of four types of vignette describing the behaviour of a nine-year-old child who met diagnostic criteria for ADHD (either a boy or a girl with inattentive or combined subtype of ADHD). They answered questions (identical for all types of vignette) about their views regarding the problems and their management. Teachers were invited to add their own comments.; Results: Altogether 496 teachers from 110 schools completed the questionnaire: 250 (50%) teachers from 94 schools wrote at least one comment, adding up to 341 comments. Regarding their views on the need to refer the child to specialist services, 32 teachers made comments that reflected caution. The most frequent comments were that it was too early to say whether a referral was necessary, the problems were not severe enough or the main support would come from school. Teachers also reported a lack of knowledge about specialist services or criticised them. When asked whether medication might be beneficial for the child, 125 teachers expressed hesitant or negative views: that it was premature to express an opinion about medication or too soon to give medication to the child; that medication was not necessary or should not be used at all; or that the problems were not severe enough or were emotional in nature. Only five teachers reported having a positive experience of the effect of medication.; Conclusion: Teachers' comments suggested a strong preference in using within-school strategies for the management of children with ADHD. Teachers were reluctant to endorse medication for DHD and expressed negative views about its use. Health services should support teachers' management of ADHD-related behaviours in school and provide information to increase teachers' ability to identify the need for a referral to specialist health services.;
    • Teachers' recognition of children with ADHD: Role of subtype and gender

      Moldavsky, Maria; Sayal, Kapil (2013)
      Background: This study investigates the ability of primary school teachers to recognise Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and the impact of subtype and child gender on recognition and proposed management. Method: Primary school teachers read one of four types of vignette describing the behaviour of a 9-year-old child: either a boy or a girl with inattentive or combined subtype of ADHD. Teachers were asked about their conceptualisation of the child's difficulties and their thoughts about need for specialist referral and other interventions. Results: Of 496 teachers, 99% identified the presence of a problem. Subtype (combined) of ADHD influenced teachers’ recognition of ADHD and agreement that medication might be helpful. Only 13% of teachers thought that medication might be helpful. Conclusions: Results suggest a need for better teacher awareness about inattentive subtype of ADHD.