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The design and user-testing of a question prompt list for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

16 Dec 2014


This study involved the development of a question prompt list (QPL) booklet designed to facilitate communication and shared decision-making between parents/carers of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their clinicians; and user-testing of the QPL to assess its usability.


Best practice in information writing and design was used to format the QPL content into a 16-page booklet. We then applied user-testing, which uses mixed methods to assess document performance with small cohorts of participants and then improves it in an iterative process. Individual interviews assessed the ability of QPL users to locate and understand key points of information, followed by a semistructured questionnaire, to ascertain their general views about the booklet.

Setting and participants

Testing was undertaken with two cohorts of 10 parents/carers of children with ADHD (n=20); matched on age, gender and educational attainment.

Tested documents

In round 1, we tested 15 key points of information related to the QPL. Participant responses and feedback from round 1 informed a revised version of the booklet, tested in a subsequent round.

Primary outcome measure

The target was for 8/10 of the participants to be able to find and demonstrate an understanding of all key information points, in accordance with European guidelines for medicine leaflet testing.


After round 1, problems related to 4/15 information points were identified (booklet purpose; preparing for appointments; asking about a second medical opinion; selecting which questions to ask). Participants also made suggestions regarding the booklet's layout and design. After round 2, all information points were located and understood by at least 8/10 participants.


This is the first study to have developed a usable ADHD-specific QPL for use by parents/carers of children with ADHD during clinical consultations, and the first demonstration of the utility of user-testing methods in ensuring QPL usability.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open