Online Program

Computer attention training for children with ADHD: Six-month follow

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Elizabeth Frenette, MPH, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Naomi Steiner, MD, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Kirsten Rene, MA, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Ellen Perrin, MD, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Robert Brennan, EdD, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, Boston, MA
104 2nd and 4th graders with ADHD were randomized into three groups: neurofeedback (NF), cognitive training (CT) and waitlist control (WLC). Intervention groups received 40 sessions over 6 months of computer training in school. Efficacy was evaluated by: parent report (Conners 3-Parent), classroom observation (Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools, or BOSS) and a math test (Permanent Product Measure of Performance, or PERMP). Post-intervention efficacy has been previously reported. At six-month follow up, paired t-tests and ANCOVAs controlling for pre-intervention scores were used to evaluate maintenance of effects within and between groups.

As previously reported, the NF group showed significant change from pre- to post-intervention on all measures. The CT group showed no improvement from pre- to post-intervention on Conners 3-P, trend improvement on BOSS and significant change on PERMP. Six-month follow up analyses for NF show sustained significant improvement on the Conners 3-P (p<0.05), the BOSS (p<0.05), and the PERMP (p<0.01). CT now shows significant improvement on Conner 3-P (p<0.05) and BOSS (p<0.05), and sustained improvement on PERMP (p<0.01). The WLC group showed no significant change. ANCOVAs showed significant differences between NF and WLC on Conners 3-P executive functioning (p=0.02) and ADHD inattentive (p=0.048) subscales and PERMP (p<0.01), as well as between CT and WLC on the Conners 3-P executive functioning subscale (p=0.035).

Six-month follow-up analyses of this RCT show sustained significant gains in the NF group and significant improvement in the CT group. NF and CT both appear as promising adjunctive treatments for children with ADHD.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Biostatistics, economics
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Explain how neurofeedback and cognitive attention training may help children with ADHD. Describe what occurs in a typical Computer Attention Training session. Discuss the pre- and post- assessments protocol and results found at 6-month follow-up. Explain the benefits and challenges of completing this protocol within the public school setting.

Keyword(s): Children With Special Needs, Computer-Assisted

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on this study for the past 4 years and am intimately involved in all aspects of this clinical trial.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.