Traci M. Kennedy, Ph.D.
Fellow in ADHD
Brooke S.G. Molina, Ph.D.
Sarah L. Pedersen, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Developing a Mobile-Health Intervention to Reduce Impairment in Young Adults with ADHD
Adolescents with ADHD often experience a “failure to launch” into young adulthood (e.g., school drop-out, unstable relationships). Unfortunately, ADHD treatment drops during this transition. Moreover, traditional therapy – weekly, in-office, 1-hour sessions – may not be optimally effective, because it is removed from the everyday situations in which problems occur. This study will examine the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a novel, real-time mobile-health intervention embedded into the natural environment designed to be more accessible and in-the-moment for this vulnerable group. This intervention will leverage behavioral monitoring via daily, repeated ecological momentary assessments (EMA), combined with personalized feedback, to enhance individuals’ awareness of their symptoms and impairment, in turn triggering the use of behavioral skills to reduce ADHD-related problems.
Young adults (18-21 years old) with ADHD (N=50) will complete a 3-week monitoring + feedback mobile-health intervention. Participants will rate their ADHD symptoms and impairment 5 times daily; feedback about extent and type of impairment will be texted based on participants’ reports throughout the previous day. ADHD symptoms and impairment at follow-up will be compared to baseline (between-person outcomes), and in-the-moment outcomes will be predicted from EMA data (within-person outcomes). Focus groups will be conducted at follow-up to refine intervention components, duration, prompt frequency, and executive functioning skills to teach in a future expanded mobile-health intervention. Results will inform the expansion of this mobile-health tool into a more comprehensive intervention that facilitates real-time skill-building in the natural environment to efficiently, accessibly, and affordably help adolescents with ADHD successfully transition to adulthood.