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Frequently asked questions

CATCh-uS is an NIHR HS&DR Programme funded research study of young people with ADHD in transition from children’s services to adult services. It aims to establish how many young people with ADHD are in need of services for ADHD as adults, and investigate young peoples, parents and practitioners views about the transition process. It will also map currently available adult ADHD services around the country.

This project consists of 3 streams:

  1. A 12 month surveillance study of young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  2. A qualitative study to explore the views and experiences of young people with ADHD at different stages of the transition process, their parents and clinicians working in child and adult mental health services.
  3. A mapping study that will combine information about the location of services from the surveillance and interviews with email/postal surveys of service commissioners, providers and key service user group.

1. Surveillance study
The surveillance study will run in parallel through the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance Service (CAPSS) and the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU). Each month these units will mail a tick box response card to all consultant paediatricians and child psychiatrists in the UK and ROI. Clinicians are asked to report young people with ADHD on medication who are within 6 months of the age-boundary for discharge from their children’s service. A nine month follow-up will then take place to find out further about the process of transfer and their care pathway.

2. Qualitative study
We will conduct interviews with key stakeholders to explore their views and experiences of the transfer (a change of provider) and transition (the quality and experience of the process, moving on from children’s services) of young people with ADHD between children’s and adult services. Stake holders will include:
a) Service providers:
- Professionals at children’s services working with young people with ADHD: e.g. paediatricians, psychiatrists
- Professionals at adult services working with young people with ADHD: e.g. psychiatrists, and third sector or private practitioners
- General practitioners
b) Young people:
- Young people attending children’s services prior to age of maximal drop out from services (14-16 years old)
- Young people who recently successfully transferred directly to adult services from their children’s services
- Young adults who dropped-out and re-entered the system in their early to mid-twenties
c) Parents of a child with ADHD

3. Mapping study
In the mapping study we want to map the variation in NHS AMHS for young people with ADHD. In order to maximise the completeness of our map, we will combine information about the location of services for young adults with ADHD from the surveillance and interviews with email / online surveys of service commissioners, service providers and key service user groups for young adults with ADHD. All will be asked whether their area has a service for adults with ADHD, if so, whether they have experience of someone receiving treatment or support at that service.

The CATCh-uS study was initially funded to run until October 2018, however the research was extended to enable 15 qualitative interviews with GPs, recruitment of young people at 11 additional recruitment sites across England, cross-validation of clinical records with surveillance findings, completion of the report and dissemination. Therefore the study has been granted an extension by NIHR to run until August 2019.

This study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research and has been approved by NRES South Yorkshire Ethics Committee – Yorkshire & The Humber (REC Reference: 15/YH/0426) and the University of Exeter Medical School Ethics Committee (REC Application Number: 15/07/070). This study has been adopted by the new HRA on 15th June 2016 (“HRA Approval for a study with an existing UK study wide review”).

The surveillance study has been granted Section 251 HRA-CAG permission (CAG Reference: 15/CAG/0184). Some patient identifiable data are needed to avoid duplication and to allow an estimation of the completeness of reporting. These will be removed once the case has been confirmed to be a unique case and all information provided will be treated in strict confidence. We will not be contacting patients or their families to discuss the questionnaire responses at any time.

Other study identification numbers:

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR): HS&DR - 14/21/52 (see

IRAS project ID: 159209

UKCRN id: 20641

The study is funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)

If you are a young person, parent or practitioner and would like to know more about how you can help to share findings, please contact Tamsin Ford - email or telephone 01392 722973.