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Title: Emotional bias modification for individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder : protocol for a co-design study
Authors: Zhang, Melvyn
Vallabhajosyula, Ranganath
Fung, Daniel
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2020
Source: Zhang, M., Vallabhajosyula, R., & Fung, D. (2020). Emotional bias modification for individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder : protocol for a co-design study. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(12), e24078-. doi:10.2196/24078
Project: NMRC/Fellowship/0048/2017
Journal: JMIR Research Protocols
Abstract: Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with a worldwide prevalence rate of 5%. Individuals with ADHD often tend to have difficulties with emotional regulation. The advances in experimental psychology have led to the discovery of emotional biases. Targeting emotional biases could potentially help improve the core symptoms of irritability and short-temperedness among these individuals. Emotional biases refer to the preferential allocation of attention toward emotional stimuli. A recent study reported the presence of emotional biases among individuals with ADHD when they compared individuals with ADHD with those without. Gamification technologies have been explored to help diminish the repetitiveness of the task and increase the intrinsic motivation to train. These inconsistent findings of the impact of gaming on the effectiveness of mobile interventions call for further work to better understand the needs of patients (users) and health care professionals. Objective: The aim of this research study is to collate health care professionals’ perspectives on the limitations of the existing task, and to determine if gamification elements could be incorporated, to refine the conventional intervention. Methods: A qualitative research approach, that of a focus group, will be used. Health care professionals from the Department of Development Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore will be invited to participate in this qualitative research. During the focus group, participants are to comment on the limitations of the existing emotional bias intervention; recommend strategies to improve the intervention; and provide their perspectives pertaining to the use of gamification to improve the intervention. Results: We expect that the study will be completed in 12 months from the publication of this protocol. Conclusions: To our best knowledge, this is perhaps one of the only few studies that have attempted to explore emotional biases among adolescents with ADHD.
ISSN: 1929-0748
DOI: 10.2196/24078
Rights: © Melvyn Zhang, Ranganath Vallabhajosyula, Daniel Fung. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (, 23.12.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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