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Protocol evaluating the effectiveness of a school-based group programme for parents of children at risk of ADHD: the ‘PArents, Teachers and CHildren WORKing Together (PATCHWORK)’ cluster RCT protocol

Sayal, Kapil; Daley, David; James, Marilyn; Yang, Min; Batty, Martin J.; Taylor, John A.; Pass, Sarah; Sampson, Christopher James; Sellman, Edward; Valentine, Althea; Hollis, Chris


Professor of Child and Adolescentpsychiatry

Professor of Psychological Intervention and Behaviour Change

Professor of Health Economics

Min Yang

Martin J. Batty

John A. Taylor

Sarah Pass

Christopher James Sampson

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Digital Mental Health


Early intervention for childhood behavioural problems may help improve health and educational outcomes in affected children and reduce the likelihood of developing additional difficulties. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a common childhood behavioural disorder, recommend a stepped care approach for the identification and management of these problems. Parents of children with high levels of hyperactivity and inattention may benefit from intervention programmes involving behavioural management and educational approaches. Such interventions may be further enhanced by providing training and feedback to teachers about the strategies discussed with parents. In relation to children with high levels of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention, we aim to test the feasibility and effectiveness of a parenting programme (with and without an accompanying teacher session) in primary schools.

Methods and analysis
This clustered (at the level of school) randomised controlled trial (RCT) focuses on children in their first four school years (ages 4–8 years) in the East Midlands area of England. Parents will complete a screening measure, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, to identify children with high levels of hyperactivity/inattention. Three approaches to reducing hyperactivity and attention problems will be compared: a group programme for parents (parent-only intervention); group programme for parents combined with feedback to teachers (combined intervention); and waiting list control (no intervention). Differences between arms on the short version of Conners’ Parent and Teacher Rating Scales Revised will be compared and also used to inform the sample size required for a future definitive cluster RCT. A preliminary cost-effectiveness analysis will also be conducted.

Ethics and dissemination
The outcomes of this study will inform policy makers about the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of delivering targeted behavioural interventions within a school setting. The study has received ethical approval from the University of Nottingham Medical School Ethics Committee.

Trial registration ISRCTN87634685


Sayal, K., Daley, D., James, M., Yang, M., Batty, M. J., Taylor, J. A., …Hollis, C. (2012). Protocol evaluating the effectiveness of a school-based group programme for parents of children at risk of ADHD: the ‘PArents, Teachers and CHildren WORKing Together (PATCHWORK)’ cluster RCT protocol. BMJ Open, 2(5),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 27, 2012
Publication Date Sep 13, 2012
Deposit Date Sep 28, 2012
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2012
Journal BMJ Open
Electronic ISSN 2044-6055
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 5
Article Number e001783
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:


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