Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Is there an app for that? Suitability assessment of apps for children and young people with ADHD

Journal article


Powell, Lauren, Parker, Jack, Robertson, Naomi and Harpin, Valerie 2017. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Is there an app for that? Suitability assessment of apps for children and young people with ADHD. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 5 (10), p. e145. https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.7371
AuthorsPowell, Lauren, Parker, Jack, Robertson, Naomi and Harpin, Valerie
Abstract

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex highly comorbid disorder, which can have a huge impact on those with ADHD, their family, and the community around them. ADHD is currently managed using pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions. However, with advances in technology and an increase in the use of mobile apps, managing ADHD can be augmented using apps specifically designed for this population. However, little is known regarding the suitability and usability of currently available apps. The aim of this study was to explore the suitability of the top 10 listed apps for children and young people with ADHD and clinicians who work with them. It is hypothesized that mobile apps designed for this population could be more suitably designed for this population. The top 10 listed apps that are specifically targeted toward children and young people with ADHD in the United Kingdom were identified via the Google Play (n=5) and iTunes store (n=5). Interviews were then undertaken with 5 clinicians who specialize in treating this population and 5 children and young people with ADHD themselves, to explore their opinions of the 10 apps identified and what they believe the key components are for apps to be suitable for this population. Five themes emerged from clinician and young people interviews: the accessibility of the technology, the importance of relating to apps, addressing ADHD symptoms and related difficulties, age appropriateness, and app interaction. Three additional themes emerged from the clinician interviews alone: monitoring symptoms, side effects and app effect on relationships, and the impact of common comorbid conditions. The characteristics of the apps did not appear to match well with the views of our sample. These findings suggest that the apps may not be suitable in meeting the complex needs associated with this condition. Further research is required to explore the value of apps for children and young people with ADHD and their families and, in particular, any positive role for apps in the management of ADHD in this age group. A systematic review on how technology can be used to engage this population and how it can be used to help them would be a useful way forward. This could be the platform to begin exploring the use of apps further.

Keywordsattention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; mobile applications; technology
Year2017
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Journal citation5 (10), p. e145
PublisherJMIR Publications Inc.
ISSN2291-5222
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.7371
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/624991
hdl:10545/624991
Publication dates04 Oct 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Jul 2020, 13:47
Accepted2017
ContributorsUniversity of Sheffield and Ryegate Children's Centre, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
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