Combined cognitive and parent training interventions for adolescents with ADHD and their mothers: A randomized controlled trial


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study examined the individual and combined effects of two nonpharmacological treatments for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): Cogmed working memory training (CWMT) for adolescents and behavioral parent training (BPT) for mothers. Ninety-one adolescents (ages 11–15) and their mothers were randomized to one of four CWMT and BPT treatment and active control (placebo) group combinations of 5-week interventions. At pre- and posttest, mothers and teachers completed rating forms, and adolescents completed neuropsychological measures of working memory (WM). Individual intervention effects showed that treatment CWMT significantly improved WM spans, whereas there were no significant differences for treatment or control BPT on reports of parent-related outcomes. Combined treatment effects indicated an overall pattern of greatest improvements for the control CWMT/treatment BPT group, as compared to the other three groups, on adolescent WM deficit, behavioral regulation problems, and global executive deficit. Most significant effects for outcomes were main effects of improvements over time. A combination of CWMT and BPT did not result in increased treatment gains. However, potential effects of combined treatment may have been masked by greater perceived benefits arising from lack of struggle in the nonadaptive, CWMT active control condition. Future combined intervention research should focus on specific, theoretically driven WM deficits among individuals with ADHD, should include possible adaptations to the standard CWMT program, should examine effectiveness of cognitive treatments combined with contextual interventions and should utilize appropriate control groups to fully understand the unique and combined effects of interventions.

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