People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at an increased risk for negative outcomes, such as educational underachievement, unemployment, sleep problems and the development of many co-occurring psychiatric and physical disorders. Yet, crucially, individual long-term trajectories are highly variable, both in relation to the development of comorbid conditions and the severity of ADHD symptoms and impairment.
Late adolescence is a highly challenging and potentially critical period for young people with ADHD that can lay the foundations for diverging adulthood trajectories. Yet most young people with ADHD do not receive appropriate interventions during this vulnerable period due to both their disengagement from clinical services during the transition to adult ADHD services and our limited understanding of real-world targets for more holistic interventions. Remote measurement technology offers the potential to: a) obtain ongoing, long-term, real-world data at a level of detail that was previously impossible; b) identify real-world targets for intervention that include modifiable environmental factors and health behaviours; and c) transform monitoring, self-management, personalised treatment and engagement with clinical services during ADHD transition. Using our new ADHD Remote Technology (ART) system, which incorporates a wearable device and purpose-built smartphone Active and Passive Apps, we will remotely monitor young people with ADHD during the transition period.
Aim 1: To identify, with precision, the nature and timing of real-world changes that take place in the transition to adulthood for young people with ADHD (e.g. changes in clinical symptoms and functional impairment; healthy lifestyle behaviours (physical activity, sleep, daily structure, online lifestyle), social support, employment/studies).
Aim 2: Using the rich remote monitoring data to identify factors that predict such changes in the outcome measures.
Training on all aspects of the project, including advanced analyses on the rich temporal data, will be provided.
Main activities for each year of the PhD:
- Year 1: Review background literature; obtain project-specific training (incl. advanced analyses); perform initial data and analysis tasks.
- Year 2: Characterise the nature and timing of changes during transition to adulthood for young people with ADHD that are captured using active and passive remote monitoring.
- Year 3: Identify factors that predict changes in outcome measures during the transition period.