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ADHD diagnostic test ‘shining example’ of applied research

A pioneering test used to accurately diagnose children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the “perfect demonstration” of how applied research can make a difference to people’s lives.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of ARC East Midlands, has praised work carried out to establish the benefits of the QbTest (Quantitative Behaviour Test), highlighting it as a “shining example of applied research” on International Clinical Trial Day.

Studies by ARC EM have proved the effectiveness of the QbTest to measure attention, impulsivity and motor activity.

Our researchers have been running a series of studies called AQUA, which have been assessing QbTest with academic rigour, while the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network led a 12-month, real-world demonstrator project, where QbTest was deployed and evaluated in three East Midlands trusts – leading to a national rollout.

According to the evaluation, using QbTest to supplement current clinical assessment processes reduced the time to diagnosis by approximately five months and removed one appointment needed to make the diagnosis.

The results also revealed that 94% of clinicians and 85% of patients found the tool to be helpful, showing how the programme can save time and money for the health and care system and improve the experience for children and their families.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of ARC EM, said: “Our role is to speed up the adoption of evidence to the frontline of healthcare, improving patient outcomes by conducting research of local relevance and international quality. This work to support the adoption of the QbTest is a shining example of applied research and a perfect demonstration of how applied research can make a difference to people’s lives. This is something we should be celebrating during International Clinical Trials Day.”

Tim Robinson, Commercial Director at EMAHSN, said: “The success of QbTest provides a perfect example of the crucial role AHSNs play in bringing the NHS and industry together and accelerating the spread and uptake of innovations which significantly improve patient experience whilst also delivering cost savings to the NHS.”

Tony Doyle, Managing Director of Qbtech, which produces the system, added: “We are now looking forward to working with them to spread this innovation across NHS Trusts in England – benefitting more patients and delivering more savings.”

Dr Julie Clarke, Consultant Paediatrician at United Lincolnshire Hospitals and Clinical Lead for the project said: “As a clinician with extensive experience in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, I can honestly say that the addition of QbTesting has revolutionised my clinical practice. The feedback from clinicians, parents and schools so far has all been extremely positive.”

Deborah Kraja, the mother of a child with ADHD, said: “It was a huge relief  to know that I wasn’t going mad and that my son could finally get the support that he deserves. I always said it was quite significant and that’s what the results showed. We’re now quite stable and he’s doing really well.”

Published on: 20 May 2020