The BMBF-funded ESCAlife study investigates a step-by-step treatment program for children, adolescents and young adults with ADHD. ESCAlate is a  part of the study that treats patients between the ages of 16 and 45 years. So ESCAlate is aimed at young adults who have the presumption or even the diagnosis of ADHD. The aim of the study is first to offer self-help and then, in a second step, intensive therapy.

There are many good treatments that help effectively with ADHD. However, not all patients with ADHD are the same, they have different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, not all treatments help equally well in all ADHD patients. Unfortunately, we do not yet know exactly which treatments are best for which patients and when. To find out, the treatment is "stepped" and "adaptive". That means, the treatment depends on the type and severity of the problem and how well someone responds to a treatment method.

The treatment begins with either a psychoeducation in the clinic, or with a self-help program via telephone (TASH). For both treatment methods, patients work through brochures on their own at home. The results are then discussed with the therapist in the clinic or over the phone. If this treatment does not lead to sufficient improvement in ADHD symptoms, further treatment will be provided: Depending on the nature of the symptoms, patients may receive more intensive psychotherapeutic treatment, neurofeedback training, drug treatment, or a combination thereof.

It takes 9 to 12 months from the start of treatment to the last examination. In order to find out which treatment method suits which patient best, patients regularly answer standardized questions and questionnaires. These are used to determine how ADHD symptoms change over the course of treatment.

Project researchers at the University Hospital Bonn:

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Philipsen
PD Dr. med. habil. Helge Müller
Dr. Behrem Aslan
Dr. Alexandra Lam
Maria Steffens
Victoria Strothmann
Meike Lingen
Pink Grones
Marcel Schulze

Opportunities for study participation:

Advantages of participating in the study are that the participants receive the best ADHD treatment that the healthcare system currently provides, without having to wait too long. The treatment is individually tailored to the person concerned. The study will also help identify which treatment will work best in which patients, further improving the treatment of ADHD in adulthood.

If you are interested in participating, you are welcome to contact our contact person Maria Steffens (