The Impact of Impaired Executive Functions of ADHD Adults on the Use of IS: Psychologists’ Perceptions

  • Bader Binhadyan
  • Nilmini WickramasingheEmail author
Part of the Healthcare Delivery in the Information Age book series (Healthcare Delivery Inform. Age)


The aim of this chapter is to investigate clinicians’ perception of factors impacting the use of information systems (IS) in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment and management. Adults with ADHD exhibit impairments in executive functions (EF) which include management and planning, attention, emotion control, effort, working memory, and self-regulation. Impairment of functions can impact on successful task execution. This is an exploratory research, which is part of a bigger project. To explore these factors, the data was obtained by employing in-depth interviews of 12 psychologists. Grounded theory was adopted as a lens of analysis using grounded theory. Two key themes emerged from the analysis which outlined the factors which form the base of the theory developed by this research: Participants’ perception of practical acceptability of IS-based solutions is impacted by its utility and usability. Participants perceived that the EF ability impairment of adults with ADHD can influence the successful use of IS-based assistive tools. The emerged theme can act as a focus of future investigation and evaluation of adults with ADHD and technology alignment for treatment enhancement.


ADHD Executive functions e-Mental health Hyperactivity symptoms Neurodevelopmental disorder Grounded theory 


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5 ® ). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anthony, K. N., Merz, D. A., & Goss, S. (2010). The use of technology in mental health: Applications, ethics and practice. Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  3. Arns, M. D., Sabine, Strehl, U., Breteler, M., & Coenen, A. (2009). Efficacy of neurofeedback treatment in ADHD: The effects on in attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity: A meta-analysis. Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, 40(3), 180–189.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Arns, M. H., Hartmut, & Strehl, U. (2014). Evaluation of neurofeedback in ADHD: The long and winding road. Biological Psychology, 95, 108–115.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Barkley, R. A., Murphy, K. R., & Fischer, M. (2008). ADHD in adults:What the science says. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  6. Beck, S. H., Christine, A., Puffenberger, S. S., Benninger, K. L., & Benninger, W. B. (2010). A controlled trial of working memory training for children and adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 39(6), 825–836.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Booth, M. L., Bernard, D., Quine, S., Kang, M. S., Usherwood, T., Alperstein, G., et al. (2004). Access to health care among Australian adolescents young people’s perspectives and their sociodemographic distribution. Journal of Adolescent Health, 34(1), 97–103.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, T. E. (2006). Executive functions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Implications of two conflicting views. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 53(1), 35–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown, T. E. (2008). ADD/ADHD and impaired executive function in clinical practice. Current Psychiatry Reports, 10(5), 407–411.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Burns, J. M., Davenport, T. A., Durkin, L. A., Luscombe, G. M., & Hickie, I. B. (2010). The internet as a setting for mental health service utilisation by young people. Medical Journal of Australia, 192(11), S22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Chacko, A., Kofler, M., & Jarrett, M. (2014). Improving outcomes for youth with ADHD: A conceptual framework for combined neurocognitive and skill-based treatment approaches. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 17(4), 368–384.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Christensen, H. H., & Ian, B. (2010). E-mental health: A new era in delivery of mental health services. Medical Journal of Australia, 192(11), S2.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Christensen, H. P., & Katherine. (2013). Information technology as the key to accelerating advances in mental health care. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(2), 114–116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cummings, E. B., & Elizabeth M. (2011). Grounded theory evolution and its application in health informatics. In Proceedings of the ITCH.Google Scholar
  16. Du Paul, G. J., Weyandt, L. L., O’Dell, S. M., & Varejao, M. (2009). College students with ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 13(3), 234–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. e-Mental Health Alliance. (2014). e-Mental Health Services in Australia 2014: Current and future. Retrieved from online,
  18. Fayyad, J., De Graaf, R., Kessler, R., Alonso, J., Angermeyer, M., Demyttenaere, K., et al. (2007). Cross–national prevalence and correlates of adult attention–deficit hyperactivity disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 190(5), 402–409. Scholar
  19. Fernández, W. (2004). The grounded theory method and case study data in IS research: Issues and design. In Proceedings of the information systems foundations workshop: constructing and criticising.Google Scholar
  20. Glaser, B. G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory (Vol. 2). Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
  21. Jorm, A. F., Morgan, A. J., & Malhi, G. S. (2013). The future of e-mental health. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 47(2), 104–106.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Jorm, A. F., Wright, A., & Morgan, A. J. (2007). Where to seek help for a mental disorder? The Medical Journal of Australia, 187(10), 556–560.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Klingberg, T., Fernell, E., Olesen, P. J., Johnson, M., Gustafsson, P., Dahlström, K., et al. (2005). Computerized training of working memory in children with ADHD-A randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 44(2), 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lal, S. A., & Carol, E. (2014). e-Mental health: A rapid review of the literature. Psychiatric Services, 65(1), 24–32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lamberg, L. (2003). ADHD often undiagnosed in adults: Appropriate treatment may benefit work, family, social life. JAMA, 290(12), 1565–1567.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Lansbergen, M. M., van Dongen-Boomsma, M., Buitelaar, J. K., & Slaats-Willemse, D. (2011). ADHD and EEG-neurofeedback: A double-blind randomized placebo-controlled feasibility study. Journal of Neural Transmission, 118(2), 275–284.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Mannuzza, S., Klein, R. G., Bessler, A., Malloy, P., & La Padula, M. (1998). Adult psychiatrics tatus of hyperactive boys grown up. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 155(4), 493–498.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Murphy, K. (2005). Psychosocial treatments for ADHD in teens and adults: A practice-friendly review. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(5), 607–619.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Murphy, K. R., Barkley, R. A., & Bush, T. (2002). Young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Subtype differences incomorbidity, educational, and clinical history. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 190(3), 147–157.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Musiat, P., & Tarrier, N. (2014). Collateral outcomes in e-mental health: A systematic review of the evidence for added benefits of computerized cognitive behavior therapy interventions for mental health. Psychological Medicine, 44(15), 3137–3150. Scholar
  31. NICE. (2008). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Diagnosis and management. Retrieved from,
  32. Okie, S. (2006). ADHD in adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 354(25), 2637.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Parker, D. R., & Banerjee, M. (2007). Leveling the digital playing field assessing the learning technology needs of college-bound students with LD and/or ADHD. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 33(1), 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pettersson, R., Söderström, S., Edlund-Söderström, K., & Nilsson, K. W. (2014). Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for adults with ADHD in outpatient psychiatric care. Journal of Attention Disorders, 21(6), 508–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pope, D. (2010). The impact of in attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity on academic achievement in UK university students. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 34(3), 335–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Prevatt, F. L., Georgios, K., Bowles, V., & Garrett, L. (2011). The use of between session assignments in ADHD coaching with college students. Journal of Attention Disorders, 15(1), 18–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Quinn, P. (2001). ADD and the college student: A guide for high school and college students with attention deficit disorder. Washington DC: Magination Press.Google Scholar
  38. Ramsay, J. R., & Anthony, L. (2007). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult ADHD: An integrative psychosocial and medical approach (1st ed.). Hoboken: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Reijnders, J., van Heugten, C., & van Boxtel, M. (2015). Keep your brain fit! a psychoeducational training program for healthy cognitive aging: A feasibility study. Educational Gerontology, 41(8), 613–620. Scholar
  40. Roper, A. R. (2007). How students develop online learning skills. Educause Quarterly, 30(1), 62.Google Scholar
  41. Salomone, S., Fleming, G. R., Bramham, J., O’Connell, R. G., & Robertson, I. H. (2016). Neuropsychological deficits in adult ADHD evidence for differential attentional impairments, deficient executive functions, and high self-reported functional impairments. Journal of Attention Disorders.
  42. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Swartz, S. L., Prevatt, F., & Proctor, B. E. (2005). A coaching intervention for college students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychology in the Schools, 42(6), 647–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wang, J. R., & Hsieh, S. (2013). Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance. Clinical Neurophysiology, 124(12), 2406–2420.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Webb, M., Burns, J., & Collin, P. (2008). Providing online support for young people with mental health difficulties: Challenges and opportunities explored. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 2(2), 108–113.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Wender, P. W., Lorraine, E., & Wasserstein, J. (2001). Adults with ADHD. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 931(1), 1–16.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Westerberg, H., Jacobaeus, H., Hirvikoski, T., Clevberger, P., Ostensson, M. L., Bartfai, A., & Klingberg, T. (2007). Computerized working memory training after stroke-A pilot study. Brain Injury, 21(1), 21–29.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Whittaker, R., Merry, S., Stasiak, K., McDowell, H., Doherty, I., Shepherd, M., et al. (2012). MEMO—A mobile phone depression prevention intervention for adolescents: Development process and postprogram findings on acceptability from a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(1), e13. Scholar
  50. Wilens, T. E., Adler, L. A., Adams, J., Sgambati, S., Rotrosen, J., Sawtelle, R., et al. (2008). Misuse and diversion of stimulants prescribed for ADHD: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(1), 21–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wilens, T. M., Stephen, P., Biederman, J., Abrantes, A., Hahesy, A., & Spencer, T. J. (1999). Cognitive therapy in the treatment of adults with ADHD: A systematic chart review of 26 cases. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 13(3), 215–226.Google Scholar
  52. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods (Vol. 5). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  53. Young, S. B., & Jessica, B. (2006). ADHD in adults: A psychological guide to practice. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  54. Young, S. B., & Jessica, B. (2012). Cognitive-behavioural therapy for ADHD in adolescents and adults: A psychological guide to practice. Chichester: Wiley. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Informatics Management UnitEpworth HealthCareRichmondAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of HealthDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations