Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

PalmPilots Allow Home Assessments of ADHD: The Interface Needs to Be Simple to Use, Because the Families Might Not Be Technologically Sophisticated

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

PalmPilots Allow Home Assessments of ADHD: The Interface Needs to Be Simple to Use, Because the Families Might Not Be Technologically Sophisticated

Article excerpt

BOCA RATON, FLA. -- PalmPilot technology allows real-time assessment of daily behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and avoids the recollection bias of parents, according to a presentation at a meeting of the New Clinical Drug Evaluation Unit sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Researchers also aimed to assess whether efficacy of once-daily atomoxetine taken in the morning extends into the evening hours, as suggested by retrospective parent diaries in previous studies. Researchers hoped to determine how soon efficacy begins after initiation of treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"Diaries are great--they work--but you are dealing with ADHD families as well as ADHD children," said Dr. Calvin R. Sumner, senior clinical research physician, U.S. medical division-neuroscience, Eli Lilly & Co., Indianapolis Lilly is the manufacturer of atomoxetine (Strattera).

"When you do memory recall, it is affected by how things go the morning of the visit," according to Dr. Sumner. For example, a blowout in a child with ADHD who had previously had a great week could significantly alter parental perception and reporting.

Dr. Sumner and his colleagues chose the personal digital assistant (PDA) as a means of more systematic and real-time reporting of home behavior. They randomized 197 children with ADHD in a 2:1 ratio to 8 weeks of once-daily atomoxetine or placebo. The age range was 6 years to 12 years. Parents were given a PalmPilot PDA for the duration of the study. …

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