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01.12.2017 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2017

ESCAschool study: trial protocol of an adaptive treatment approach for school-age children with ADHD including two randomised trials

Zeitschrift:
BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2017
Autoren:
Manfred Döpfner, Christopher Hautmann, Christina Dose, Tobias Banaschewski, Katja Becker, Daniel Brandeis, Martin Holtmann, Thomas Jans, Carolin Jenkner, Sabina Millenet, Tobias Renner, Marcel Romanos, Elena von Wirth

Abstract

Background

The ESCAschool study addresses the treatment of school-age children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a large multicentre trial. It aims to investigate three interrelated topics: (i) Clinical guidelines often recommend a stepped care approach, including different treatment strategies for children with mild to moderate and severe ADHD symptoms, respectively. However, this approach has not yet been empirically validated. (ii) Behavioural interventions and neurofeedback have been shown to be effective, but the superiority of combined treatment approaches such as medication plus behaviour therapy or medication plus neurofeedback compared to medication alone remains questionable. (iii) Growing evidence indicates that telephone-assisted self-help interventions are effective in the treatment of ADHD. However, larger randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are lacking. This report presents the ESCAschool trial protocol. In an adaptive treatment design, two RCTs and additional observational treatment arms are considered.

Methods

The target sample size of ESCAschool is 521 children with ADHD. Based on their baseline ADHD symptom severity, the children will be assigned to one of two groups (mild to moderate symptom group and severe symptom group). The adaptive design includes two treatment phases (Step 1 and Step 2). According to clinical guidelines, different treatment protocols will be followed for the two severity groups. In the moderate group, the efficacy of telephone-assisted self-help for parents and teachers will be tested against waitlist control in Step 1 (RCT I). The severe group will receive pharmacotherapy combined with psychoeducation in Step 1. For both groups, treatment response will be determined after Step 1 treatment (no, partial or full response). In severe group children demonstrating partial response to medication, in Step 2, the efficacy of (1) counselling, (2) behaviour therapy and (3) neurofeedback will be tested (RCT II). All other treatment arms in Step 2 (severe group: no or full response; moderate group: no, partial or full response) are observational.

Discussion

The ESCAschool trial will provide evidence-based answers to several important questions for clinical practice following a stepped care approach. The adaptive study design will also provide new insights into the effects of additional treatments in children with partial response.

Trial registration

German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS) DRKS00008973. Registered 18 December 2015.
Literatur
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