A mission in Australia and New Zealand: Improve the lives of those with ADHD

April 8, 2024| ADHD News

ADHD is one of the most common mental health conditions in Australia. The country is now believed to have the highest total population prevalence of ADHD of any country in the world, at 3.72% and federal reports show that ADHD prescriptions have doubled in the last five years. 

To explore the ADHD landscape south of the equator, Head of Professional Business, Europe, Shaun Hopkins and Clinical Operations Manager, Charlotte Cooper took a trip to Australia and New Zealand.  

Shedding light on Australia’s changing ADHD landscape

What we noticed in Australia is that with the increase in demand for ADHD care, additional challenges have surfaced. Over six days, we met with new and existing customers, visited organizations that provide ADHD assessments, and met individuals across different states to understand existing challenges and opportunities. 

Additionally, our main goal was to understand how we can help patients and clinicians better manage their ADHD pathway by incorporating objective data with the online medical device, QbCheck, that is used widely in Europe and the USA, less so in Australia. 

Key barriers highlighted in a recent senate enquiry by the Australian Association of Psychologists Inc.

The recent senate enquiry identified:

  • Lack of services: Limited availability and long wait times for healthcare professionals to diagnose and provide treatment.
  • High cost of services.
  • Poor consumer (patient) experiences.
  • Lack of support in schools, out-of-home care and correctional facilities.
  • Specific challenges for key groups. This includes girls, women, and gender-diverse people, First Nations people, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Furthermore, clinicians highlighted other challenges including a lack of ADHD-trained staff and disparities in the delivery of ADHD services in public health services and private sector. Many belonging to low-income groups aren’t able to access essential services as a majority of public health services elect not to diagnose and treat ADHD, especially in adults, resulting in an overreliance on private sector care and services. 

Despite the challenges, meeting such incredible people and providers left us feeling inspired. Their passion about making a difference, and including QbCheck as a vehicle to achieve this, further motivated us.

We thank all those who gave up time in their busy schedules to meet with us to discuss and get excited about improving the lives of people with ADHD. 

Qbtech team members visit QbCheck clinics in Australia and New Zealand

ADHD care in New Zealand

Afterward, we hopped over to visit New Zealand where we presented to clinicians in Tauranga and Whakatane. Here we spoke about the role of objective data in ADHD care. We gained important insights about the New Zealand health system and delivery of ADHD care. Furthermore, we provided training and education on QbCheck to increase confidence in its use. It helped us have more impact, and further solidify relationships with clinicians and management. 

Both of us are humbled and grateful for the time of the wonderful individuals we met, especially Anja Theron, Dr. Sarah Moll, Dr. Justin Wilde, 2nd year medical student Chloe Malone, Kim Blair, and Haidee Barrow. We look forward to continuing to support this region and bringing the technology to more regions in New Zealand. Our hope, though these efforts, is to further help improve ADHD care globally.  

The positive impact of objective data

Last year, QbCheck was integrated into the Child and Adolescent Service, Paediatrics, Child Health Integrated Response Pathway (CHIRP) team, and more recently discussions have started to launch in school-based Mental Health teams in Tauranga and in Whakatane. We received some early, but promising preliminary data of an audit into the effectiveness of QbCheck: 

  • The CHIRP service in Tauranga has increased access to ADHD care for Māori families from 22% to 34% 
  • There is a significant improvement in ADHD diagnostic decision-making. A contributing factor is an increase in clinical information available, after introducing CHIRP and QbCheck
  • Clinicians were able to improve diagnostic efficiency by reducing the time taken to reach a diagnostic decision  and gained objective insights with the inclusion of Qbtech technology to their ADHD pathway  

CHIRP are a team of public health care workers from the Bay of Plenty (Hauora a Toi.) They guide children and whānau on topics related to child development. They also support on challenging behaviors and possible neurodiversity such as autism and ADHD. 

QbCheck is an FDA-cleared, TGA-registered, and CE-marked ADHD test. QbCheck is not a standalone tool for diagnosing ADHD. Instead, it is designed to be added to the assessment process along with a clinical interview and rating scales.

Find out more about objective ADHD technology. Get in touch with our expert team

 

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