DOI: 10.3390/brainsci13121728 ISSN: 2076-3425

An Open-Label Study of a Wearable Device Targeting ADHD, Executive Function, and Academic Performance

Lindsay E. Ayearst, Richard Brancaccio, Margaret Danielle Weiss
  • General Neuroscience

Objective: This was an open-label pilot study to test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a wearable digital intervention developed to improve on-task behavior. This was an exploratory study to test for specificity of response on parent- and teacher-reported symptom outcomes in attention and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms, as well as domains of functional impairment, including school behavior and learning and executive function. Method: Participants included 38 children aged 8–12 years with a parent-reported past diagnosis of ADHD. Following baseline ratings from parents (N = 38) and teachers (N = 26), participants wore the device to school for four weeks. Parent and teacher ratings of ADHD symptoms, executive function, and functional impairment were repeated at the end of the four-week intervention period. Results: Statistically significant improvement was seen in the total scores for all parent and nearly all teacher outcomes, with moderate effect size improvements in attention, organization and planning, self-monitoring, school functioning, and teacher-reported academic performance. Conclusions: Preliminary evidence from this open-label pilot study suggests that having a child interact with a wearable device to self-monitor attention is feasible. This exploratory, open-label pilot study found real-world improvement in functional domains, including academic performance. Future research will require a blinded, randomized, controlled trial using an appropriate sham comparator to confirm these findings.

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