Evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the effect of using an online mindfulness program. EMCOVID-ADHD

Principal Investigators

  • José Á. Alda

    SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital

  • Inmaculada Insa

    SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Objectives

The main objectives of this project are:

  1. To assess emotional and behavioral problems longitudinally in patients with ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. To analyze the effects of an online mindfulness intervention in children diagnosed with ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project has five specific aims:

  1. To assess the influence of an online mindfulness program on the core symptoms of ADHD.
  2. To assess the effect of an online mindfulness program on ADHD comorbid symptoms (internalizing and externalizing).
  3. To evaluate the usefulness of an application for mindfulness in the emotional dysregulation of children with ADHD.
  4. To evaluate and compare the results obtained in the online mindfulness intervention with the face-to-face mindfulness intervention.
  5. To evaluate the therapeutic compliance of the online intervention.

Hypothesis

  • Patients with ADHD will present more emotional and behavioral disturbances during and after confinement compared with a population without prior diagnosis.
  • ADHD patients who use an online mindfulness-based program will show an improvement in the core symptoms of ADHD, as well as in the comorbid symptoms present (internalizing and externalizing symptoms) after the intervention compared with those who did not receive an intervention in mindfulness.

Project design

Descriptive study with an experimental, case-control, randomized, longitudinal subsample (0, 1, and 3 months).

Cohorts

The study population will be recruited from the public health system attended by the Psychiatry and Psychology Service of SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, and will already have been diagnosed with ADHD.

For the selection of the sample, the following inclusion/exclusion criteria will be applied

Inclusion criteria

  • Children or adolescents between 7 and 12 years of both genders.
  • ADHD diagnosed with an ADHD-RS IV score (parent-report) greater than 1.5 standard deviations from the age and gender norm for the total score.
  • Linked to the Psychiatry and Psychology Service of the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital (including the 5 CSMIJ).
  • Voluntary acceptance to participate in the study.
  • An IQ > 70 measured through the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children V (WISC-V).

Exclusion criteria:

  • Absence of ADHD diagnosis.
  • Patients with an IQ < 70.
  • Patients with psychosis, autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Treatment with stimulants (methylphenidate or LDX), atomoxetine, guanfacine, or clonidine is permitted. The use of atypical antipsychotics is also permitted.

External collaborators

The company "Petit Bambú" facilitates the use of the mindfulness application for the patients during 3 months.