Improving Care Management in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An RCT
OBJECTIVES: To compare the effectiveness of care management combined with a patient portal versus a portal alone for communication among children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). METHODS: Randomized controlled trial conducted at 11 primary care practices. Children aged 5 to 12 years old with ADHD were randomly assigned to care management + portal or portal alone. The portal included parent-reported treatment preferences and goals, medication side effects, and parent- and teacher-reported ADHD symptom scales. Care managers provided education to families; communicated quarterly with parents, teachers, and clinicians; and coordinated care. The main outcome, changes in the Vanderbilt Parent Rating Scale (VPRS) score as a measure of ADHD symptoms, was assessed using intention-to-treat analysis. RESULTS: A total of 303 eligible children (69% male; 46% Black) were randomly assigned, and 273 (90%) completed the study. During the 9-month study, parents in the care management + portal arm communicated inconsistently with care managers (mean 2.2; range 0-6) but similarly used the portal (mean 2.3 vs 2.2) as parents in the portal alone arm. In multivariate models, VPRS scores decreased over time (Adjusted β = -.015; 95% confidence interval -0.023 to -0.07) in both groups, but there were no intervention-by-time effects (Adjusted β = .000; 95% confidence interval -0.011 to 0.012) between groups. Children who received ≥2 care management sessions had greater reductions in VPRS scores than those with fewer sessions. CONCLUSIONS: Results did not provide evidence that care management combined with a patient portal was different from portal use alone among children with ADHD. Both groups demonstrated similar reductions in ADHD symptoms. Those families with greater care management engagement demonstrated greater reductions than those with less engagement.