Attention-Deficit /
Hyperactivity Disorder

Clinical Trial Patient

Recruiting ADHD patients with direct-to-patient and caregiver targeting, screening, and engagement support

Patient Recruitment for ADHD Clinical Trials: Understanding Patient Perspectives

Over 500 Million individuals globally are impacted by ADHD and clinical research plays a crucial role in advancing the understanding and treatment of ADHD. At this moment, there are 90 ADHD trials that are active or in planning phases, and the studies differ significantly. Potential treatment options range from mindfulness training in children to the impact of the gut biome and nutrition, to pharmacological intervention.

Recruiting diverse participants for ADHD clinical trials presents significant challenges, particularly due to the diverse nature of the patient population and existing stigmas surrounding mental health conditions.

ADHD Patient Profile

ADHD is pervasive globally and impacts children and adults, and the typical profile for potential patients varies between the populations.

In children (typically 7 – 12 years old), the most common criteria is those who either have an ADHD diagnosis or a referral for evaluation, are treatment naïve or have discontinued treatment for some time, and are free from seizure disorders.

Adolescents' criteria for DSM-5 diagnosis vary by age; however, they include symptoms of inactivity, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Additionally, the impact of the symptoms, the environment in which they present, and the length of time present are factored into an ADHD diagnosis.

Adult patients typically have a DSM-5 diagnosis, are free from other chronic or psychiatric diseases, aren’t currently pregnant, and are also free from seizure disorders.

While the number of potential participants is significant due to the pervasiveness of the condition, recruitment can be challenging for two major reasons:

  • Lack of diversity due to cultural, ethical, and/or societal stigmas
  • Lack of mental health awareness

Standard Diagnostic and Treatment Path

Individuals seeking diagnosis or treatment for ADHD commonly face challenges related to difficulty concentrating, organization, time management, and behavioral issues. Some may consult healthcare professionals or undergo neuropsychological evaluations, while others seek online resources for symptom management and potential behavioral or lifestyle modifications.

Alternatively, some may disregard their symptoms altogether due to skepticism about the condition. For those pursuing clinical pathways, the primary care provider typically refers them to a psychologist or psychiatrist for DSM-5 guideline diagnosis and treatment initiation.

Treatment options usually include stimulants and non-stimulants, but some patients may seek clinical trials or alternative treatments due to experiencing negative side effects, medication dependence, or tolerance to their current regimen.

Unlocking access to individuals with ADHD

Finding potential ADHD clinical trial participants can be challenging, Direct-to-Patient Advertising as a recruitment approach is powerful in this population.

Potential patients, especially teens and adults, are first turning to online sources for information and education about their diagnosed or suspected condition. For pediatric patients, parents often take the initiative in seeking information about their children’s observed behaviors.

With that activity, an online profile begins to evolve, and by using sophisticated targeting and screening algorithms, Sponsors can put information about clinical research directly in front of people who are already seeking information outside of the traditional physician-led approach.

AutoCruitment's ADHD Experience: A Snapshot


Neurology Studies completed in the last 5 years. (including # in ADHD.)


Average increase in enrollment

8.61 months

Average time saved


Average Randomizations Contributed

About AutoCruitment

AutoCruitment helps life sciences companies accelerate patient recruitment.

AutoCruitment’s technology-backed, full service, global, direct to patient digital advertising approach targets, recruits, and screens more of the right patients quickly to eliminate the patient recruitment bottleneck. The full clinical trial recruitment and enrollment process is seamless with AutoCruitment’s dedicated Project Management and Site & Patient Engagement teams, transparent, real-time reporting, and a secure user-friendly Patient Management Portal.

AutoCruitment’s patient recruitment platform supports Sponsors, CRO Partners and Research Sites by decreasing time, risk and cost to bring new therapies to market.

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