Technology-Enhanced Executive Functioning Intervention for ADHD

  • End date
    Nov 14, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Children's National Research Institute
Updated on 31 October 2021


This study develops and refines an online platform that will support clinician-directed behavioral and organizational skills intervention for adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with input guided from key stakeholders during focus groups and interviews (phase 1), extended usability testing (phase 2), and a pilot randomized trial (phase 3) of the online tool used in conjunction with an organizational skills intervention.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood mental health disorders, affecting 7-9% of youth and leading to substantial impairment in adolescence. Despite evidence suggesting that behavioral interventions are efficacious, 41-60% of adolescents receiving behavioral treatment show little to no improvement and skills are rarely generalized beyond treatment sessions. Lack of adolescent motivation and engagement, between-session skills use, reward saliency, and family involvement are key contributors to these limited effects. Mobile digital health strategies and gamification techniques offer transformative opportunities for overcoming the barriers of evidence-based treatments specific to ADHD by using interactive tools to reinforce in-vivo skill practice, providing opportunities for immediate reinforcement, and motivating adolescents with digital rewards. The goal of this proposal is to develop and evaluate an online platform tool that will support clinician-directed behavioral treatment for adolescents with ADHD by improving executive functioning skills acquisition and utilization, providing in-vivo skills reinforcement, and monitoring adolescents' skill utilization. This study will use an empirically supported intervention specifically designed to address the domains of impairment frequently experienced by adolescents with ADHD. This study will use an iterative stakeholder-centered design to develop, refine, and preliminarily test a scalable digital health tool, applied as an adjunct to behavioral treatment for adolescents with ADHD. This includes focus groups with key stakeholders (Define), extended formative usage evaluation (Refine), and an open preliminary feasibility trial and usability testing (Pilot). Our goal is to develop and preliminary test an online platform that increases engagement, skills generalization, and family involvement in an empirically-supported organization skills intervention for adolescents with ADHD.

Condition Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms, attention deficit disorder, attention deficits, ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Type, adhd, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD - Adults), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD - Pediatric), Family Medicine-ADHD Pediatrics, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive - Impulsive, ADHD - Combined Type, Androstenedione, Attention-Deficit Disorder in Adolescence
Treatment Homework Organization and Planning Skills (HOPS) Intervention, Digital Health Application (Online Platform) for Encouraging Skills Practice
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04729439
SponsorChildren's National Research Institute
Last Modified on31 October 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Youth ages of 11 to 14 that are attending a participating school
referred by school mental health provider as a youth with apparent ADHD-related problems
6 symptoms (item score 2) of Inattention or Hyperactivity-Impulsivity on the pooled parent and teacher Vanderbilt ADHD Rating Scale
3 on the Impairment Rating Scale by parent and teacher (cross-situational impairment)
Parent consent and youth assent must be provided

Exclusion Criteria

No presence of conditions that are incompatible with this study's treatment including: Parent or adolescent report of a prior diagnosis of either Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, a Dissociative Disorder, Severe visual or hearing impairment, severe language delay or intellectual impairment, or a Psychotic Disorder will be excluded. Rationale: Individuals with these disorders often have very dysregulated behavior and impairments that deviate from the focus of this study
Adolescent is in all-day special education classes or if core classes not in regular education classrooms. Rationale: The vast majority of adolescent with ADHD are served in regular education classrooms and students in full-day self-contained classrooms often have different challenges than students in regular education
Adolescent planning to change (start or stop) psychotropic medication. Note: Adolescents taking medication will be required to meet all entry criteria, including impairment criteria, thus indicating a need for the intervention. Adolescent taking medication for attention or behavior are eligible as long as their medication regimens are stable. Participating parents will also need to be able to read/speak English because all measures are in English, and the intervention will be conducted in English
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