About the PASS Study

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ADHD generally can be treated effectively with behavior therapy alone or behavior therapy in combination with medication, but access to high-quality behavior therapy is important for successful outcomes. The PASS Study focuses on families from low-income, urban settings who often have difficulty accessing behavior therapy. To address this problem, the study will determine whether it is beneficial to offer an enhanced behavior therapy in primary care practice for low-income families of children with ADHD.

The study will compare two treatment approaches:

  1. An enhanced behavior therapy delivered in the child’s primary care office, known as Partnering to Achieve School Success (PASS).
  2. Usual Care informed by American Academy of Pediatrics treatment guidelines, including access to the Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids program, which is CHOP's integrated behavioral health services offered in the primary care practice.

Overall, the study aims to increase access to services, improve patient-centered outcomes, and identify which families respond best to the PASS program. If the family agrees to participate, they will be randomly assigned to one of the two treatment approaches: (1) PASS or (2) Usual Care. Participation in EITHER group will last for about eight months from time of enrollment. During the study, families will participate in their assigned treatment group and complete questionnaires at several different time points.

What are the Outcomes Assessed?

With the help of caregivers of children with ADHD, children's teachers, and the clinicians who support them, the following outcomes will be examined:

  • Family use of services for ADHD
  • Children’s academic achievement, behavioral compliance, interpersonal relationships, and life satisfaction
  • Children’s symptoms of ADHD.

Involvement by Schools and Teachers

An important part of the study is to determine whether PASS results in improved school success for participating children. Data will be collected from the child's school and teacher regarding:

  • Child’s academic achievement
  • Child’s behavior at school
  • Parent-teacher involvement.

Study team members and PASS clinicians will work closely with administrators and teachers from many public, private, charter, and parochial schools that serve children in the greater Philadelphia region.

Who Can Participate?

Potential participants in the study meet the following criteria:

  • Family has a child age 5 to 11 who has a diagnosis of ADHD
  • Child receives their primary care at the Cobbs Creek, Drexel Hill, Media, Broomall, Karabots, Roxborough, or South Philadelphia practices in Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network
  • Child may or may not take medication to treat ADHD (either is acceptable)
  • Family is not already receiving counseling or therapy.

In order to join the PASS Study, potential participants must receive a study referral from a primary care clinician or behavioral health clinician at one of the seven target primary care practices. If your family is interested in participating, and your child receives care at one of the seven practices, please ask your child's pediatrician about the study or to receive a referral.

After a family is referred to the PASS Study, a team member will contact the parent/legal guardian to conduct a brief screening interview over the telephone. If the family is a good fit for the study, they will be scheduled for an appointment to hear more about the study before deciding to participate.

Study Sites

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