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Weekly Edition - Published  08 September 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


ADHD diagnosis drive to start in Liverpool

NEW ways to diagnose attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) faster in children are being investigated in Liverpool. Young people aged between 6 to 18 years, who have been referred for an assessment of the condition, are being invited to help.

Principal Investigator Professor Chris Hollis, who is leading the project looking at better ways to diagnose, said:- "ADHD affects up to five in 100 children and if left undiagnosed the child can sometimes become isolated because no one understands their behaviour. There has been rapid growth in diagnosis over the last 30 years with the number of children recognised and treated for ADHD in the UK increasing almost 10 fold from the early 1980's. Despite the increasing numbers, clinical methods for the assessing and treating of ADHD have hardly changed, so we want to look at the best way to identify the condition."

The study will investigate how effective the QbTest test is, which a computer based assessment tool that examines whether an individual is showing symptoms of the condition. A motion tracking system measures the amount of movement the user makes when performing the task. The project entitled:- 'Assessing QbTest Utility in ADHD' (AQUA Trial) has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research's Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRC).  It is also taking place in other areas around the country, including Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.  Professor Hollis is also a Consultant in Developmental Neuropsychiatry with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Nottingham. "The other aims of the project we are hoping to identify is to assess whether the QbTest will lead to earlier treatment and improved patient outcomes. We will also be looking at the financial implications the test may have on the NHS if introduced. Spending on ADHD medication has increased seven fold between 1998 and 2005, so we want to ensure the financial costs of the test are viable."

The QbTest test takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and the participant must respond as quickly and as accurately as possible to certain geometric shapes appearing on a computer screen by pressing a responder button. As they perform the task, a camera located above the computer records movement from a reflector located on the person's forehead. When the test is finished, a report is delivered which takes into account the person's age, gender and performance. NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands is a partnership of regional health services, universities and industry which turns research into cost saving and high quality care through cutting edge innovation.


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