Publication details for Prof Christine MerrellSayal, K., Owen, V., White, K., Merrell, C., Tymms, P. & Taylor, E. (2010). Impact of Early School-Based Screening and Intervention Programs for ADHD on Children's Outcomes and Access to Services. Follow-up of a School-Based Trial at Age 10 Years. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 164(5): 462-469.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1072-4710, 1538-3628
- DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.40
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
To investigate the impact of early school-based screening and educational interventions on longer-term outcomes for children at risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the predictive utility of teacher ratings.
A population-based 5-year follow-up of a randomized, school-based intervention.
Schools in England.
Children between 4 and 5 years of age with high teacher-rated hyperactivity/inattention scores. Follow-up data were collected on 487 children in 308 schools.
Following screening, using a 2 x 2 factorial design, schools randomly received an educational intervention (books about ADHD for teachers), the names of children with high hyperactivity/inattention scores between ages 4 and 5 years (identification), both educational intervention and identification, or no intervention.
Parent-rated hyperactivity/inattention, impairment in classroom learning, and access to specialist health services for mental health or behavioral problems.
None of the interventions were associated with improved outcomes. However, children receiving the identification-only intervention were twice as likely as children in the no-intervention group to have high hyperactivity/inattention scores at follow-up (adjusted odds ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-4.00). Regardless of intervention, high baseline hyperactivity/inattention scores were associated with high hyperactivity/inattention and specialist health service use at follow-up.
We did not find evidence of long-term, generalizable benefits following a school-based universal screening program for ADHD. There may be adverse effects associated with labeling children at a young age.