Partnering to Achieve School Success (PASS) Study

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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurodevelopment disorder of childhood. It is characterized by difficulty with attention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity that often results in problems at home, school, and interpersonal relationships.

Although ADHD can be successfully managed, there are significant barriers to accessing high-quality care. Families of children with ADHD in low-income, urban settings have particular difficulty gaining access to behavioral health services.

The Partnering to Achieve School Success (PASS) Study will compare enhanced behavior therapy delivered in primary care practice, known as Partnering to Achieve School Success (PASS), to usual services that includes access to integrated behavioral health services in addition to ongoing pediatric care as informed by American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for ADHD. The study’s primary aim is to determine the effectiveness of PASS compared to usual services to treat children with ADHD.

The PASS Study is funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute® (PCORI) Award (AD-2018C1-10869). PCORI funds studies that can help patients and those who care for them to make better-informed healthcare decisions. The statements presented on this website are solely the responsibility of the PASS study team and do not necessarily represent the views of PCORI or its Board of Governors.

Study Highlights

What is PASS?

Partnering to Achieve School Success (PASS) is an enhanced behavior therapy program for families of children with ADHD. In PASS, caregivers learn evidence-based strategies to more effectively address their child’s home and school behavior. Based on an integrated care model, PASS is designed to encourage families, educators, primary care clinicians, and behavioral health clinicians to work together to support the child’s success and overall well-being.

PASS enhances standard behavior therapy by focusing on three core areas:

Family Engagement in Treatment

PASS clinicians use engagement and motivation techniques during each session to reinforce help-seeking behaviors, empower families, and encourage families to use PASS strategies consistently and with high quality.

PASS also utilizes Community Health Partners to promote family engagement in treatment and improve the cultural effectiveness of care. Community Health Partners are staff members who regularly communicate with families by telephone and text message to promote session attendance, encourage use of PASS strategies, assist in resolving barriers to treatment, and connect families with community resources as needed.

Team-Based Care

PASS is fundamentally based in collaboration with caregivers, educators, and primary care clinicians to address each family’s needs. At the start of the program, PASS clinicians work with families to identify treatment goals and to develop a personalized treatment plan. Throughout the course of the program, PASS clinicians regularly communicate with primary care clinicians to coordinate the child’s care. Similarly, parents and teachers develop a problem-solving partnership to target school-specific concerns.

High-Quality Therapy

PASS clinicians are licensed psychologists and clinical social workers credentialed to practice at CHOP within the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids program, which is CHOP’s integrated behavioral health service in primary care. PASS ensures high-quality, culturally sensitive therapy by including ongoing training and coaching with performance feedback for PASS clinicians.