Review title: What is the level of evidence for the use of currently available technologies in facilitating the self-management of difficulties associated with ADHD in children and young people? a systematic review

Why a review? 

Children and young people with ADHD can have problems with their attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours. These problems can effect the individual, their family, their success at school, quality of life and self esteem. Children and young people with ADHD can often spend less time at school than their friends because they are either skipping school or suspended, they can often be in trouble at school and are more likely to be involved in drug abuse and criminality when they are older. Often, these problems also carry through to adulthood. Sadly, this can have a financial impact on the healthcare and prison services. 

We also know that technology is becoming more and more popular and more people are connected to the Internet now than in previous years. Children and young people often regularly use technology and are comfortable using it. Therefore, a number of technologies to help self-manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and young people have been developed. 

What did we do?

We looked for studies that looked at technologies for the self-management of ADHD in children and young people with ADHD. We looked at 8 different databases and came up with 7545 studies. We then checked all of these studies to see which ones looked at technology for self-managing ADHD in children and young people with ADHD. We then reviewed the studies to assess their quality and recorded their results.

What did you find?

We found that there is promise for using technology for self-managing ADHD in children and young people. We also found an overwhelming evidence base for teaching children and young people about their ADHD and how to self-manage it properly. None of the 14 technologies in this review did this. Therefore we recommend that future technologies for children and young people with ADHD do just this.

Want to find out more? 

This study has been published in the Journal of European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and can be accessed here.


Alternatively, you can contact the review team with any of your queries:

Miss Lauren Powell (Research Associate and review lead): l.a.powell@sheffield.ac.uk

Dr Jack Parker (Research Fellow and review academic collaborator): jack.parker@sheffield.ac.uk

Dr Val Harpin (Consultant paediatrician and review clinical collaborator): val.harpin@sch.nhs.uk