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Practitioner review: pathways to care for ADHD - a systematic review of barriers and facilitators

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journal contribution
posted on 23.09.2016, 10:25 by Nicola Wright, Maria Moldavsky, Justine Schneider, Ipsita Chakrabarti, Janine CoatesJanine Coates, David Daley, Puja Kochhar, Jon Mills, Walid Sorour, Kapil Sayal
Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder starting in childhood that may persist into adulthood. It can be managed through carefully monitored medication and nonpharmacological interventions. Access to care for children at risk of ADHD varies both within and between countries. A systematic literature review was conducted to investigate the research evidence related to factors which influence children accessing services for ADHD. Method Studies investigating access to care for children at risk of ADHD were identified through electronic searches of the international peer-reviewed and grey literature. Databases were searched from inception till 30th April 2012. This identified 23,156 articles which were subjected to three levels of screening (title, abstract and full text) by a minimum of two independent reviewers. Due to the heterogeneity in the study designs, a narrative approach was used to present the findings. Results Twenty-seven papers met the inclusion criteria; these were grouped into four main themes, with some papers being included in more than one. These were wider determinants (10 papers); identification of need (9 papers); entry and continuity of care (13 papers) and interventions to improve access (4 papers). Barriers and facilitators to access were found to operate at the individual, organisational and societal level. Limited evidence of effective interventions to improve access was identified. Conclusion This review explored the multilayered obstacles in the pathway to care for children at risk of ADHD and the lack of evidence-based interventions designed to address these issues, thereby indicating areas for service development and further evaluative research.


This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire (NIHR CLAHRC-NDL).



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

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Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines






598 - 617


WRIGHT, N. ... et al, 2015. Practitioner review: pathways to care for ADHD - a systematic review of barriers and facilitators. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56 (6), pp. 598-617.


John Wiley & Sons / © the authors


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by John Wiley & Sons under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/