This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, is a condition that makes it hard to stay focused, pay attention, and control behavior. ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders. Children with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships, and poor performance in school. One in 10 children in the United States between 4 and 17 years old is diagnosed with ADHD at some point.
Treatment for ADHD may include medicine, counseling, or both. Family members, teachers, doctors, and counselors all play a role in a child’s care. Researchers believe treatment works best when everyone involved communicates with each other and understands parents’ and patients’ goals for treatment.
Some hospitals use patient websites—called patient portals—to improve communication among patients, parents or caregivers, teachers, and healthcare professionals. Patient portals link to electronic health records and gather information about symptoms and treatment. Some hospitals also use care managers to help parents understand and coordinate health care. This study is comparing using a care manager and a patient portal versus using a patient portal alone to improve outcomes for children with ADHD.
Who can this research help?
Healthcare organizations can use findings from this study to improve communication among healthcare professionals, teachers, and parents of children with ADHD.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is recruiting 300 children 5 to 12 years old who were diagnosed with ADHD and get treatment at 15 children’s clinics associated with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. All children in the study and their families and teachers have access to a patient portal to manage the children’s ADHD care. The research team is assigning half of these patients and their parents and teachers by chance to work with a care manager as well.
Doctors use the portal to gather information from parents and teachers on ADHD symptoms, treatment, and medicine side effects. Parents, teachers, doctors, and counselors use the portal to communicate about the child’s ADHD and goals for treatment.
The research team developed a manual that care managers use to coordinate care and monitor children’s progress. The care manager meets with each family at the start of the study to discuss preferences and goals for treatment, provide education on ADHD treatment, and address common concerns for patients with ADHD and their families. The care manager calls, emails, or meets in person with each family between one or more times every 12 weeks to talk about the treatment, discuss new concerns, and help solve problems related to ADHD care and treatment. The care manager also communicates with doctors, teachers, and counselors to offer information and coordinate treatment.
Families complete surveys at the start of the study and after three months, six months, and nine months. The surveys ask about ADHD symptoms, progress with treatment goals, how parents and children feel about their care, school performance and behavior, and relationships with peers, family, and teachers. Teachers’ reports about children’s progress are also included in the record.
The research team is working with doctors, mental health professionals, teachers, and parents of children with ADHD, who are providing input on study questions, research design, procedures, results, and sharing findings from the research.
Research methods at a glance
Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions