for people ages 11-15 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
Melissa R Dvorsky, PhD
Photo of Melissa R Dvorsky
Melissa R Dvorsky



This study develops an initial prototype of a mobile tool that will support clinician-directed behavioral/organizational skills treatment for adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with input guided from key stakeholders.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood mental health disorders, affecting 7-9% of children and adolescents, and leading to substantial impairment in adolescence. Despite evidence suggesting that behavioral interventions are efficacious, approximately 40-60% of adolescents receiving behavioral treatment show little to no improvement and skills are rarely generalized beyond treatment sessions. Lack of adolescent motivation and engagement, between-session skills use, reward saliency, and family involvement are key contributors to these limited effects. Mobile digital health (dHealth) strategies and gamification techniques, offer unique opportunities for overcoming the barriers of treatments specific to ADHD by using interactive tools to reinforce in-vivo skill practice, providing opportunities for immediate reinforcement, and motivating adolescents with digital rewards. The primary goal of this study is to develop and preliminarily test the integration of a digital health tool into organizational/behavioral skills treatment for adolescents with ADHD by improving executive functioning skills, providing in-vivo skills reinforcement, and monitoring adolescents' skill utilization. The proposed research will use an iterative stakeholder-centered design to develop, refine, and preliminarily test a novel digital health tool, applied as an adjunct to behavioral treatment for adolescents with ADHD (ages 11-15). This includes focus groups with key stakeholders and an open preliminary feasibility trial and usability testing. Data collected from focus groups will inform what content and features could be developed to overcome challenges to adolescent engagement and parent involvement. During the open trial (N=20) we will assess intervention feasibility, usability, and acceptability. During and after the clinical trial, we will collect continuous feedback from users on the usability and utility of the tool. At the end of this study we will complete debugging and programming to maximize usability before a future larger clinical trial.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity Behavioral/organizational skills intervention augmented with digital health application


You can join if…

Open to people ages 11-15

  • 1) Youth ages of 11-14 years (6-8th grade) that are attending a participating school
  • 2) referred by SMHP as a youth with apparent ADHD-related problems,
  • 3) ≥6 symptoms (item score ≥2) of Inattention or Hyperactivity-Impulsivity on the pooled parent and teacher Vanderbilt ADHD Rating Scale
  • 4) ≥3 on the Impairment Rating Scale by parent and teacher (cross-situational impairment)
  • 5) Parent consent and adolescent assent must be provided; b)

You CAN'T join if...

  • 1) No presence of conditions that are incompatible with this study's treatment including: Parent or adolescent report of a prior diagnosis of either Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, a Dissociative Disorder, Severe visual or hearing impairment, severe language delay or intellectual impairment, or a Psychotic Disorder will be excluded. Rationale: Individuals with these disorders often have very dysregulated behavior and impairments that deviate from the focus of this study.
  • 2) Adolescent is in all-day special education classes or if core classes not in regular education classrooms. Rationale: The vast majority of adolescent with ADHD are served in regular education classrooms and students in full-day self-contained classrooms often have different challenges than students in regular education.
  • 3) Adolescent planning to change (start or stop) psychotropic medication. Note: Adolescents taking medication will be required to meet all entry criteria, including impairment criteria, thus indicating a need for the intervention. Adolescent taking medication for attention or behavior are eligible as long as their medication regimens are stable. Participating parents will also need to be able to read/speak English because all measures are in English, and the intervention will be conducted in English.


  • University of California, San Francisco accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94143 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Melissa R Dvorsky, PhD
    Postdoctoral Scholar, Psychiatry. Authored (or co-authored) 31 research publications.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Last Updated