eTherapy App for Children with ADHD

Gamers, Psychologists, and Entertainment Computing Pros are working together to address ADHD Symptoms, motivate children and their parents, and connect in real time with therapists. Meister Cody ADHD by Mats is generously supported by the European Union and Germany´s State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Vision

Our App’s personalized 1-on-1 plan makes it easy to do daily tasks (morning routine, homework, bedtime ritual and more). It’s loaded with motivation for children and lots of kudos from others to help kids finish stuff. Parents have an easy-to-follow structure for planning routines, making lists and calming emotions. Our App also includes cognitive and role play games with error pattern recognition to be played exactly when needed. Therapists assign tasks, upload documents, review cognitive game play data and give kudos. We aim to address ADHD core symptoms.

Upcoming User Tests and Studies

Iterative development process including rapid prototypes and evaluation of a variety of game mechanics and styles in user tests and focus groups.

Controlled multi-center pilot study to evaluate efficacy and acceptance of learning and concentration exercises for ADHD, attention-deficit or hyperactive children.

Introduction


Our aim is the development of a playful cognitive and strategy training to support and supplement therapy of primary school children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

MATS is designed to provide effective and appropriate contextual support to patients, parents and therapists.

Timing


2019

  • Compilation & cataloging of existing international evidence-based intervention/therapy approaches
  • Requirements catalog for digital training app & design documentation
  • Best practice catalog of evidence-based intervention/therapy approaches

2020

  • Fine-tuning of best practice catalog from experts along with focus groups with children, their parents, pediatricians, school psychologists and therapists
  • Prototype development focusing on game mechanics and intervention
  • Empirical focus group study

2021

  • Study design, ethics board approval and recruiting
  • Controlled multi-center pilot study in March to evaluate the efficacy and acceptance of learning and concentration exercises for ADHD, attention-deficit or hyperactive children

2022

  • Data analysis of multi-center pilot study

Our 360° Research Concept

Meister Cody – ADHD by MATS covers many main areas around ADHD:


  • 1. Main Features

    Child, parent and therapist modules. 45 training days, 3x / week, daily one strategy training unit plus a cognitive game. A success transfer of what has been learned into the daily routine is a critical point. We offer personal or telephone support for parents.

  • 2. Age

    6 – 10 years

  • 3. Child - First Priority

    Our research focuses on helping children. Parents and therapists have access to extra features that assist with the primary goal of supporting the child at home and during therapy sessions.

  • 4. Behavior Therapy Treatment

    Therapists use our app as an integrated part of their practice. In August 2020 we will conduct systematic interviews with therapists.

  • 5. Technology

    An expert blend of digital health and therapy. Gamification with a dual focus on motivation and attention & concentration skills. Mobile first. Available on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire OS. Built with Unity.

  • 6. Strategy Training Focus

    Metacognition, motivation and volition, emotion regulation. Content: mental contrast (MO), anticipatory emotion regulation and situation modification (EM), reactive emotion regulation (EM), signal maps and thinking out loud/self-instruction (MK), if-then planning (VO), self-observation and self-reinforcement (reinforcement plans) (MO), routines (MK + VO). Focus on situations at home that require self-management by children.

  • 7. Cognitive Training Focus

    Executive functions, Metacognition. Content: focused attention, shifting, divided attention, updating, action planning, interference control, inhibition.

  • 6. Renown Partners

    University of Duisburg-Essen, Entertainment Computing and TU Dortmund University, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences – Education, Schools, Inclusion.

  • 7. We´re all Ears / Take Part

    team@meistercody.com or +49 211 730 63511

How do we motivate children?


We take the motivational effect of computer games strongly into consideration. By closely linking evidence from gamification, entertainment computing and video game research with our clinical development process, a particularly high degree of motivation is to be generated and sustained while ensuring MATS meets the particular needs of children with ADHD symptoms.

Project page of Prof. Dr. Jörg-Tobias Kuhn at TU Dortmund University

Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences – Education, Schools, Inclusion
Visit Page

Project page of Prof. Dr. -Eng. Maic Masuch at University of Duisburg-Essen

Department of Computer Science and Applied Cognitive Science, Entertainment Computing
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Want to help? Call us (+49 211 730 63511) or send an e-mail (team@meistercody.com).

Publications


Publications related to creation and/or validation of  Meister Cody – ADHS by MATS

Ring, Patrizia (2020). A Comparison of the Effects of Mindfulness Meditation and Breathing Relaxation on Concentration, Attention and Physical Relaxation (Unpublished Master Thesis). University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Computer Science and Applied Cognitive Science, Entertainment Computing, Duisburg.

Publications we find particularly interesting

Bikic, A., Reichow, B., McCauley, S. A., Ibrahim, K., & Sukhodolsky, D. G. (2017). Meta-analysis of organizational skills interventions for children and adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 52, 108–123.

Catalá-López, F., Hutton, B., Núñez-Beltrán, A., Page, M. J., Ridao, M., Macías Saint-Gerons, D., . . . Moher, D. (2017). The pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic review with network meta-analyses of randomised trials. Plos One, 12(7), 1–31.

Cortese, S., Ferrin, M., Brandeis, D., Buitelaar, J., Daley, D., Dittmann, R. W., . . . Sonuga-Barke, E. J. S. (2015). Cognitive training for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Meta-analysis of clinical and neuropsychological outcomes from randomized controlled trials. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54(3), 164–174.

Gawrilow, C., & Rauch, W. A. (2017). Selbstregulationsfähigkeiten und exekutive Funktionen im Entwicklungsverlauf bei Vorschul- und Schulkindern [Self-regulation skills and executive functions in the developmental course of preschool age and school age children]. In U. Hartmann, M. Hasselhorn, & A. Gold (Eds.), Entwicklungsverläufe verstehen – Kinder mit Bildungsrisiken wirksam fördern. Forschungsergebnisse des Frankfurter IDeA-Zentrums (S. 158–174). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Majewicz-Hefley, A., & Carlson, J. S. (2007). A Meta-Analysis of Combined Treatments for Children Diagnosed With ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 10(3), 239–250.

Schmid, J., Guderjahn, L., & Gawrilow, C. (2017). Trainings zur Förderung der Selbstregulation von Kindern und Jugendlichen mit ADHS [Training programs for the promotion of self-regulation in children and adolescents with ADHD]. In U. Hartmann, M. Hasselhorn, & A. Gold (Eds.), Entwicklungsverläufe verstehen – Kinder mit Bildungsrisiken wirksam fördern. Forschungsergebnisse des Frankfurter IDeA-Zentrums (S. 385–402). Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Sonne, T., Müller, J., Marshall, P., Obel, C., & Grønbæk, K. (2016). Changing Family Practices with Assistive Technology. In J. Kaye, A. Druin, C. Lampe, D. Morris, & J. P. Hourcade (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI ’16 (S. 152–164). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.

Sonuga-Barke, E., Brandeis, D., Holtmann, M., & Cortese, S. (2014). Computer-based cognitive training for ADHD: A review of current evidence. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 23(4), 807–824.

Takacs, Z. K., & Kassai, R. (2019). The efficacy of different interventions to foster children’s executive function skills: A series of meta-analyses. Psychological bulletin, 145(7), 653-697.