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Early school-based screening and intervention programmes for ADHD did not improve children's outcomes at age 10

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How do early school-based screening and educational interventions affect the long-term outcomes for children at risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?


487 children (age 10–11) from 308 schools who had been screened for ADHD symptoms between 4 and 5 years of age. Initially 68 711 children aged 4–5 years old were screened in 2040 schools from 24 local education authority (LEA) areas in England; 7570 children were identified as having high teacher-rated hyperactivity/inattention scores (six or more ADHD symptoms as defined in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition criteria). These schools were randomised to receive one of four interventions (see Intervention below). The current study asked a sample of 549 schools from the 20 LEA areas with ≥20 participating schools, and 1662 children (and their parents) from these schools to participate in follow-up; parents of 487 (non-sibling) children from 308 schools agreed.


308 schools in 20 LEA areas in England; initial screening took place September 2000 to July 2001.


Identification of children with high ADHD scores, educational intervention, both identification and educational intervention, or no intervention (control). Identification of children with high hyperactivity/intention scores involved feeding …

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  • Sources of funding Department of Health and the Department of Education and Skills.


  • Competing interests RB has received research support from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Shire and Forest. She served as a consultant for Shire and was on an advisory board for Lilly.

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